Recommendations of a presidential advisory commission on the processing time of green card applications can bring cheers to hundreds of thousands of immigrants if approved by the White House. President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI) unanimously voted to recommend President Joe Biden to process all applications for green cards, officially known as Permanent Resident Card, within six months.
A Green Card is issued to immigrants as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently in the US. But the current immigration system has caused a huge backlog in green card approval, with many waiting for decades despite tens of thousands of green cards left unused. In 2021, only 65,452 family preference green cards were issued out of the annual 226,000 available green cards, keeping many families needlessly separated.
Indian IT professionals, most of them living in the US on H1-B work visas, bear the brunt of the current immigration system which imposes a 7% cap on each country on allotment of the coveted Green Card.
Things you should do while your green card application is pending with USCIS:
If you have moved during the period, the address with USCIS must be updated within 10 days of moving to the new address, since changing the address with the US Postal Service will not update with the immigration agency. Failing to update with USCIS, you may miss important notices about your green card application.
Check the average time it takes for a particular USCIS office to process a Form I-485.
For check case status updates, visit the Case Status Online page of USCIS and use your Form I-485 receipt number. Submit a case inquiry if you think your application is outside of the normal processing times of USCIS.
If you need to leave the US temporarily during the period, check the instructions for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, for more information. According to USCIS, leaving the US without an advance parole document while a pending Form I-485 means you will have abandoned your application.
(With PTI inputs)