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How long does it take to file for residency?

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How long does it take to file for residency?

In order to lawfully live and work in the U.S., one must obtain the proper U.S. immigration documentation. For instance, many foreign nationals are present in the United States as skilled workers on employment-based visas. Other foreign nationals have pending asylum applications and are entitled to work permits while waiting on their case decision. Ultimately, most individuals seeking to reside in the United States for the foreseeable future seek Lawful Permanent Residency, or “LPR” status.

Not everyone qualifies for LPR status, so the first step is to determine what routes exist, if any, to permanent residency. There are several ways through which may qualify for LPR status, including family, employment, special immigrant status, humanitarian avenues, and through refugee or asylee status.

Depending on which categories are present, applicants should screen their cases to determine if they meet the eligibility requirements for permanent residency.

There are countless factors in the permanent residency determination process, but one of the biggest factors involves where the applicant is present. For instance, certain applicants residing in the United States may be able to obtain permanent residency in the United States. These individuals would go through the process of adjustment of status. Again, not all foreign nationals in the United States qualify for LPR status, so each potential applicant must vet their case.

For those outside of the United States, these individuals may be able to consular process at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Some applicants in the United States may not qualify for adjustment of status, but may qualify for consular processing. Applicants must also check for visa availability, as specific immigrant categories carry specific wait times and case processing.

Visa availability can further prolong your filing for residency.

Most applicants for permanent residency must undergo fingerprinting and a biometrics review. Many applicants get interviewed at their local USCIS office, embassy, or consulate.

Almost all applicants must undergo a mandatory medical exam. Every case is different, and certain offices or consular posts take much longer than others; therefore, some cases will take longer than others. It is also worth noting that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a significant backlog. Cases processing times are increasing across the board.

If you have already filed for permanent residency through Form I-485, you can check case processing times and get an average estimate for each U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office and processing center across the United States.

If you or a loved one have any questions on the residency process, please contact us at Ibrahim Law Office to discuss further.

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