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When will my Green Card arrive? 8 tips to avoid delays

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Are you waiting for your Green Card to arrive and wonder how can you know when it will be expedited? Worry no more! In this article, we will explain step by step how to easily track the status of your petition and solve any related issues.

When applying for a Green Card in the United States is easy to get anxious and, depending on your immigration status, you might want to have it on your hands as soon as possible. So, if you can’t stop asking yourself “When will my Green Card arrive?”, don’t worry, you are not alone in this.

In any case, do not panic! In this article we will tell you how to find out when your long-awaited and deserved Green Card will finally arrive through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

1. Register on the USCIS website

In order to check the status of your application online, you will need to create an account. To do this, you must enter the USCIS website and register in the Online Case Status section. This will allow you to get automatic updates on your case, including your United States Postal Service (USPS) tracking number.

2. Register on the USPS Informed Delivery site

This will allow you to obtain daily images of the mail that is sent to you. Having signed up for Informed Delivery, you can:

  • Track the packages you are expecting automatically
  • Set up email and text alerts
  • Enter the USPS Delivery Instructions for your mail carrier

Using Informed Delivery will allow you to instantly track and manage the delivery of your package in the way that is most convenient for you. This will help avoid mistakes and misunderstandings that could complicate your application.

3. Your green card will be sent to the address you provided in your application

It is very important that you remember that your permanent residence card will be mailed to the address you provided in your application (unless you have requested for it to be mailed directly to your immigration attorney or representative using Form G-28.

4. What happens if I change my address?

If your mailing address changes after submitting your application, you should update your address with USCIS and USPS as soon as possible. We recommend that you use the USPS “Find a Zip Code” tool to ensure that you are giving USCIS your full address using standard abbreviations and the format recognized by USPS.

Do not wait too long to update your information! If you don’t update your address right away, your case could be delayed, your documents could be lost, and you may need to reapply and pay the fee again.

5. What happens if my permanent residence card appears as delivered but I have not received it?

If your USPS tracking information shows that your package was delivered but you did not receive it, contact the nearest local post office immediately. They will know what may have happened and how to fix it.

Lately, USCIS has been implementing a series of measures to try to avoid these inconveniences. One of these is the Restricted Delivery option, which requires signature confirmation. This measure was implemented for the delivery of permanent residence cards as well as other sensitive documents such as employment authorizations and travel documents.

6. What is signature confirmation restricted delivery?

With signature confirmation restricted delivery, you or your designated agent will need to present valid identification and sign the package in person to receive it. USPS accepts the following forms of identification:

  • Armed Forces, government, university or recognized corporate identification card.
  • Valid driver’s license or non-driver identification card
  • Passport or green card
  • Current lease, mortgage, or trust deed
  • Vehicle registration card
  • Home or vehicle insurance policy
  • If you are designating someone who is a citizen of the United States to receive your document, they can also show a voter registration card or Certificate of Naturalization.

7. I think my Green Card is taking too long. What can I do?

After USCIS has approved your application to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, it will send you a welcome letter. Afterward, your new Green Card will arrive by post. However, sometimes there can be issues with some of these steps and you might have to contact USCIS in order to fix it.

If any of these cases applies to you, you should contact the USCIS Contact Center as soon as possible:

  • You received your welcome letter or permanent residence card, but you notice that one or both documents have an error.
  • More than 30 days have passed since you obtained permanent residence and you still have not received your letter of welcome.
  • It has been more than 30 days since you received your welcome letter, but you have not received your permanent residence card yet.
  • You have questions about your new status as a lawful permanent resident.
  • If the online tool to verify the status of your case indicates that you have been sent an approval notification or document and it has been more than 30 days but you still have not received it.
  • If you wish to request that the original documents that you sent along with your application or petition be returned to you, submit Form G-884.

8. Estimated USCIS Processing Times for Green Cards

Using historical USCIS processing time data, you can see the trend for your application type and get an estimate of how long the entire process can take. This will allow you to calculate approximately when your card should arrive.

Remember that USCIS uses a fiscal year (FY) calendar, which runs from October 1 of the previous year to September 30 of the year being described. For example, the 2021 fiscal year is close to ending now, as it runs from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.

Delay of application through Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative):

There is a net trend from fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2021 of increasing USCIS processing times, with an average increase of 1 to 2 months through fiscal year 2021, averaging a delay of 10.4 months.

Delay of application through Form I-131 (Advance parole):

This advance parole document has seen a small decrease in USCIS processing times from 4.5 months in fiscal year 2019 to 4 months in fiscal year 2021.

Delay of application through Form I-485 (Adjustment of status):

Green Card applications based on family, meaning immediate relatives or spouses of a U.S. citizen, have seen a significant increase in processing times between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2021. The average processing time was of 13 months for fiscal year 2020. This delay is due in large part to USCIS office closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking for the best immigration lawyer in Houston Texas? If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 281-606-0800!

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