Atlanta, GA – With the recent surge in immigration and the backlog from the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has to handle an enormous volume of applications. If you want to apply for a Green Card, you have to prepare yourself for a long wait.
Here is how you can find out when your application will be processed.
How does the USCIS work?
The USCIS relies on its field offices across the United States to handle applications. If you apply for a Green Card in Georgia, your case will be assigned to a local field office based on your ZIP code, which refers to the address you have used on your application.
Every field office receives a different number of applications, which directly impacts its processing speed compared to other offices. Georgia, like all southern states, sees larger numbers of immigrants so the local offices will have more applications to process.
Every month, USCIS updates the processing wait times for each field office.
How to find out how much you have to wait?
First, you need to find the office handling your case. In Atlanta, there is a USCIS Field Office and a US Application Support Center. However, different forms may be processed in other centers.
To find out where your application ended up, you must enter your zip code into the USCIS search box, which is at the bottom of the page. Once you enter your ZIP code, the relevant field office will be displayed on the screen.
Keep in mind that for forms such as Form I-130, Form I-129, and others, the application will be processed by a USCIS Service Center. The one for Georgia applications of these types is actually in Texas.
No matter if your case is processed by a field office or a service center, the next step is to use the USCIS Case Processing Time tool. Follow the steps as indicated by the drop-down boxes and select the relevant field – type of application, category, field office or service center that is handling the application.
As an example, if you have filed a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) and you’re a permanent resident (Green Card holder) filing for a spouse or child under 21 your application will be processed by the Texas Service Center. The average waiting time for this type of application is 20 months.
Check the date on the receipt you got when you applied. If that was 12 months ago, this means your case is progressing normally – or what the USCIS defines as normal. You are not allowed to make any inquiries at this point. If you want to know when you might be allowed to make an inquiry, use the “Get Inquiry Date” tool on the same page.
Can an immigration lawyer help speed up my case?
An immigration lawyer cannot do anything to speed up the case after you’ve filed your application. But an experienced Green Card lawyer in Atlanta can help you before you apply.
You should get counsel from a reliable lawyer on how to fill in an application correctly, what documents to submit and how to send the payment to the relevant office. Keep in mind that if you make a mistake on your application or fail to submit a required document, your application may be rejected and you’ll have to start all over again. This would mean another 20 months to wait.
If you want to move to Georgia and start a new life in Atlanta, talk to an experienced immigration lawyer at Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC
Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC
365 Northridge Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30350
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