The standard processing time for a work permit is 2 – 5 months. Immigrants who file for a work permit concurrently with their Green Card application typically fall on the longer side of that estimate, with most Green Card applicants receiving their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in about 150 days.

Once you receive your work permit from USCIS, it could take anywhere from 5 – 43 months to receive your Green Card depending on your eligibility category and which USCIS office or service center handles your petition. For an accurate, up-to-date estimate of Green Card petition processing times, visit the USCIS Processing Times website. Select Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, then select the field office or service center that is reviewing your application.

Note that when you search for updated processing times on the USCIS website, the estimate is based on when USCIS receives your application. Choosing to file an application for a work permit before, concurrently with, or after Form I-485 has no effect on the processing time for your Green Card application. In most cases, the primary forces that determine your processing time will be the field office or service center’s backlog of pending applications, and (if applicable) the waiting list for an available immigrant visa.

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How USCIS Determines Who Will Review Your Green Card Application

There are 4 service centers and 87 field offices that handle Green Card applications. The location that is assigned to review your application depends on a number of factors, including your eligibility category (family, employment-based, asylee, refugee, etc.), where you currently reside, and where you file your application. Generally speaking, field offices only review family-based and employment-based Green Card applications, while the service centers can handle these in addition to the other eligibility categories.

After you file Form I-485 with USCIS, the agency should issue a receipt for your Green Card Application. The field office or service center assigned to your case should be indicated on the that receipt.

USCIS Service Centers

There are 4 USCIS service centers that handle Green Card applications. If your application is assigned to a service center, you can expect to receive your Green Card in the following timeframes:

  • California Service Center: 10.5 – 43 months
  • Nebraska Service Center: 7 – 18 months
  • Texas Service Center: 17.5 – 35.5 months
  • Vermont Service Center: 11 – 19.5 months

USCIS Field Offices

Generally speaking, USCIS field offices tend to process Green Card applications much faster than USCIS service centers. Most field offices have a turnaround time of 9.5 – 21.5 months, though they can be as short as 5.5 months or as long as 31.5 months. 

Following is a list of the 87 USCIS field offices that currently review Green Card applications, along with the most recent estimate of each field office’s processing times for Form I-485. Again, these estimates are based on the initial filing date, not the date of an approved work permit:

  • Agana, Guam: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Albany, New York: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Anchorage, Alaska: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Atlanta, Georgia: 12.5 – 24.5 months
  • Baltimore, Maryland: 11.5 – 27.5 months
  • Boise, Idaho: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Boston, Massachusetts: 10 – 18.5 months
  • Brooklyn, New York: 14 – 31.5 months
  • Buffalo, New York: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Charleston, South Carolina: 7.5 – 15.5 months
  • Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: 7.5 – 17.5 months
  • Chicago, Illinois: 11.5 – 25.5 months
  • Christiansted, US Virgin Islands: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Cleveland, Ohio: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Columbus, Ohio: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Dallas, Texas: 15.5 – 22.5 months
  • Denver, Colorado: 15 – 20 months
  • Des Moines, Iowa: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Detroit, Michigan: 9.5 – 15.5 months
  • El Paso, Texas: 9.5 – 17.5 months
  • Fort Myers, Florida: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Fresno, California: 9 – 18.5 months
  • Greer, South Carolina: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Harlingen, Texas: 9.5 – 21 months
  • Hartford, Connecticut: 11 – 19 months
  • Helena, Montana: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Hialeah, Florida: 13 – 19.5 months
  • Honolulu, Hawaii: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Houston, Texas: 13.5 – 26 months
  • Imperial, California: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Indianapolis, Indiana: 10 – 20 months
  • Jacksonville, Florida: 8 – 15 months
  • Kansas City, Missouri: 7.5 – 16.5 months
  • Kendall, Florida: 8 – 20 months
  • Las Vegas, Nevada: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts: 8 – 16.5 months
  • Long Island, New York: 11 – 31 months
  • Los Angeles, California: 12 – 25.5 months
  • Louisville, Kentucky: 5.5 – 17 months
  • Manchester, New Hampshire: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Memphis, Tennessee: 10.5 – 28.5 months
  • Miami, Florida: 14 – 27.5 months
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota: 14 – 24 months
  • Montgomery, Alabama: 13.5 – 19.5 months
  • Mount Laurel, New Jersey: 9 – 18 months
  • Newark, New Jersey: 9 – 18 months
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • New York, New York: 13 – 28.5 months
  • Norfolk, Virginia: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Oakland Park, Florida: 15.5 – 27.5 months
  • Oklahoma City, OK: 7.5 – 16 months
  • Omaha, Nebraska: 7 – 16 months
  • Orlando, Florida: 8 – 20.5 months
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 12 – 30 months
  • Phoenix, Arizona: 11.5 – 16.5 months
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Portland, Maine: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Portland, Oregon: 8 – 15.5 months
  • Providence, Rhode Island: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Queens, New York: 13 – 21.5 months
  • Raleigh, North Carolina: 6 – 14.5 months
  • Reno, Nevada: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Sacramento, California: 11.5 – 19 months
  • Saint Albans, Vermont: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Saint Louis, Missouri: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Salt Lake City, Utah: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • San Antonio, Texas: 11 – 17 months
  • San Bernardino, California: 10 – 14.5 months
  • San Diego, California: 8.5 – 15.5 months
  • San Fernando Valley, California: 13.5 – 34.5 months
  • San Francisco, California: 10 – 17 months
  • San Jose, California: 11 – 19 months
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Santa Ana, California: 12 – 24.5 months
  • Seattle, Washington: 10 – 19.5 months
  • Spokane Washington: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Tampa, Florida: 7 – 17 months
  • Tucson, Arizona: 7.5 – 13 months
  • Washington, DC: 11 – 20 months
  • West Palm Beach, Florida: 11.5 – 20 months
  • Wichita, Kansas: 9.5 – 21.5 months
  • Yakima, Washington: 9.5 – 21.5 months

What Happens After You Receive Your Green Card?

When USCIS approves your application for permanent residency and issues a Green Card, your EAD will automatically expire. Permanent residents do not need employment authorization, as their Green Card serves as proof of their authorization to work in the United States. 

 

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