A green card is a type of permit that allows a citizen of another country to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. The green card itself is a photo ID verifying the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved you to live in the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident.
A green card comes with certain privileges and responsibilities much in the same way citizenship does. For a variety of reasons, the waiting process for a green card can take upwards of a decade for some individuals. The following are some reasons it may be taking so long for you to receive your green card.
Green Card Categories and Quotas
One possible reason for the delay in receiving your green card is because you fall under a category that has reached its quota. Under United States immigration law, there are limits on the number of individuals in certain categories who can receive green cards.
Categories subject to green card quotas include employment-based categories and limits on the number of people born in a certain country. In addition to these quotas, 50,000 green cards are allotted to foreign-born individuals from around the world based on a formula calculated every year.
Because of the high demand for green cards from people born in China, Mexico, and India, waits are especially long for individuals from these countries. There are no limits on green cards for immediate relatives of United States citizens and men and women seeking lawful permanent residence on asylee or refugee status.
Tougher Immigration Policies
Under the current administration, immigration policies continue to become more restrictive. That has a real impact on access to and wait times for green cards. More stringent enforcement of immigration law, a backlog of applications, and an immigration system in flux can further delay the approval process.
These issues also impact individuals looking to renew or replace their green card. While the timetable for replacing or renewing your green card is certainly shorter than the approval process, you can still expect to wait upwards of a year or more for your new ID.
Checking on the Status of Your Green Card Application
If you have concerns that your green card is taking too long, an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer can check on the status of your case. They are also available to assist you in completing your green card application, renewal, or replacement to ensure your documentation is accurate to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
While it is understandably frustrating, long wait times for green cards are a reality in the U.S. It is important to remember you are not alone in this period of transition. A compassionate and knowledgeable Philadelphia immigration lawyer can be a trusted advocate and invaluable resource when facing any immigration matter.
Immigration Lawyers in Philadelphia Help Clients Navigate the Green Card Process
A green card bestows important rights and privileges to foreign-born individuals seeking to build a life in the United States. But the path to obtaining one can be a long one. At Surin & Griffin, P.C. our Philadelphia immigration lawyers guide clients through every step of the application process and keep them updated on their status throughout.
Though waiting for a green card can be stressful, you are never alone in this journey. To learn more about green card eligibility, call 215-925-4435 or contact us online to be connected with an experienced immigration lawyer in Philadelphia. We assist clients throughout Pennsylvania and the nation.