First, you will select a regional center, which can take some time. Next, you will invest in the regional center of your choice, and this process is fairly brief-about two to eight weeks.
After that, your attorney will submit your I-529 petition to the USCIS. Processing time for these petitions has recently gone down, and now the waiting time can be as little as three months or less. When the petition is approved, your attorney will file an application for adjustment of status, which takes six to twelve months, or an application for consular processing of your visa, which takes two to six months. All told, this brings your total estimate to six and fifteen months.
I'm afraid that you are at the mercy of the USCIS's schedule, which means that it is not easy to reduce your wait time. You can, however, prevent bumps along the road, which will make the ride to your Green Card go a lot smoother-and hopefully faster.
The right attorney will help you by choosing the right documentation to submit, and organizing your application so that the examiner will understand it. This includes both identifying your documents and indicating their various purposes, and translating any documents that are not in English.
Choosing the right regional center will also shorten your wait. You want a regional center that is compliant with USCIS requirements, and has a proven track record of success. When you are researching centers with your advisor, find out what which centers offer efficient processing of I-526 petitions with the USCIS.
As you can see, you can help speed up your application process by making the right choice of attorney and regional center. In general, preparation is key-and you are already preparing yourself just by reading this article.