Case Was Approved I-485 How Long To Get Green Card

case was approved i-485 how long to get green card

Having your I-485 case approved is a significant step forward in your journey towards gaining permanent residence in the United States, otherwise known as obtaining a Green Card. However, the timeline from approval to actually receiving your Green Card can be influenced by a variety of factors. Let’s dive into the process to gain a better understanding.

What is Form I-485?

Before discussing the timeframe, it’s important to understand what the I-485 form is. Form I-485, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is a document filed by an individual who is already in the U.S. and wants to apply for permanent resident status without having to leave the country.

The I-485 Approval Process

Once your I-485 form has been filed, it is processed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This involves a review of the application, a fingerprinting and background check, a medical examination, and usually an interview.

Receiving an approval notice means that the USCIS has approved your application for permanent resident status. This is undoubtedly cause for celebration, but it does not mean you have your Green Card yet.

From I-485 Approval to Green Card: How Long Does it Take?

The time from I-485 approval to receiving your physical Green Card can vary widely, generally ranging from a few weeks to several months. The reason for this variation lies in the different factors that can influence the process.

  1. Production and Mailing Time: Upon approval of your I-485 application, the USCIS must physically produce your Green Card and mail it to you. This usually takes 2-4 weeks but could be longer if there’s a high demand or unexpected issues arise.
  2. Your Current Location: Your current location can also affect how long it takes for the card to reach you. If you’re located within the U.S., it should arrive within a few weeks of being mailed. For individuals outside the U.S., it might take a bit longer due to international mailing times.
  3. USCIS Workload: Sometimes, the USCIS experiences high demand periods that lead to slower processing times. Therefore, if your case gets approved during one of these busy periods, it may take longer to receive your Green Card.
  4. Errors or Complications: If there are any errors or complications with your case—such as incorrect information on the application or issues with delivery—it could delay the receipt of your Green Card.

What to Do After I-485 Approval

While waiting for your Green Card, make sure to keep your contact information up-to-date with the USCIS, especially your mailing address. If the USCIS cannot deliver your Green Card because they do not have your correct address, it could lead to significant delays.

If your Green Card does not arrive within 120 days of receiving your approval notice or immigrant visa, you should contact the USCIS. They can provide further guidance and help address any issues that may have arisen.


Obtaining your Green Card after I-485 approval is a process that requires patience. While the timeline can vary, rest assured that an approval notice is a significant milestone on your path to becoming a U.S. permanent resident. Stay proactive and responsive to any communications from the USCIS, and before you know it, you’ll have your Green Card in hand.

By Christine Mayle