Green card processing time. Green Card Process Steps
Even though the actual steps in the green card process may vary, the following are the overall high level steps in the green card process.
Immigrant Petition: Either an employer, relative or in some cases the applicant files an immigration petition for the beneficiary. e.g., I140 is filed for employment based immigration while I130 is filed for family based immigration.
Immigrant Visa Availability: As there are quotas and restrictions in most categories of green card, a person is not immediately able to get the green card after the immigrant petition is completed. After the immigrant petition is approved, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center.
Adjudication: Once the immigrant visa number is available, that is the priority date is current, the person can adjust their status to permanent resident if he/she is already in the U.S., or if the person is outside the U.S., he/she can apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. embassy/consulate that has the jurisdiction over his/her residence.
Depending upon the actual route taken, the green card process may involve extra steps. Please look the description of each type of green card process for accurate information.