i-360 Approved: How Long for Green Card?

by | Mar 11, 2024

Learn about how long it may take to get a Green Card after i-360 Approval

Navigating the journey to becoming a U.S. immigrant is no small feat. It’s like trying to find your way through a giant maze, except instead of hedges, it’s stacked with forms, documents, and a lot of waiting.

Among these many steps is a form known as the I-360. If you’ve ever wondered about it, you’re in the right place.

Today, we’re diving into the world of I-360 forms, focusing on what it is, how long it takes, and what comes after approval.

What is I-360?

The Form I-360 is a key player in the immigration process for some people. It’s not for everyone, but for specific groups such as:

  • Religious workers
  • Special immigrant juveniles
  • Afghan or Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government
  • International broadcasters
  • Physicians
  • Armed forces members
  • Certain employees or former employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Abused spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioning provisions
  • Abused spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents under the VAWA cancellation of removal provisions
  • Widow(er)s of U.S. citizens.
  • Amerasian

Submitting this form is one of the first steps for these groups to seek a Green Card or permanent residency in the U.S.

How Long Does It Take For I-360 To Be Approved?

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to immigration paperwork. The time it takes for an I-360 form to be approved can vary widely. It depends on a lot of factors, like the specifics of your case and how busy the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is at the time. One immigration website, Boundless Immigration, claims the average is between 15 and 17.5 months.

How Does USCIS Notify You That Form I-360 Is Approved?

When the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves your Form I-360, they notify you through a formal document known as a Notice of Action, specifically, the I-797, Notice of Action. Here’s how it works:

  1. Approval Notice: Once USCIS has made a decision on your I-360 petition, they will send an I-797 Notice of Action to the address you provided in your application. If your petition is approved, this notice will state that your I-360 petition has been approved.
  2. Mail Delivery: The notice is sent via standard postal mail. It’s essential to ensure that USCIS has your current address to avoid any delays or misplacement of this important document. If you move while your application is pending, you should promptly update your address with USCIS.
  3. Content of the Notice: Besides indicating the approval of your petition, the I-797 Notice of Action will also provide important information about the next steps in the process. For example, it may guide you on how to apply for adjustment of status (if applicable) or inform you about visa processing if you are outside the United States.
  4. Online Updates: If you have created an account on the USCIS website, you may also receive electronic updates and notifications regarding the status of your application. However, the official approval will still be sent via mail.
  5. No Direct Electronic Approval Notices: While USCIS offers electronic updates for tracking the status of your application, the formal approval notice comes through postal mail. They do not send approval notices via email.

It’s important to carefully read the entire notice once you receive it, as it contains critical information about your case and what you need to do next. If you have any doubts or questions, it might be helpful to consult with an immigration attorney or a qualified representative.

What Happens After I-360 is Approved?

Once your I-360 form gets the green light, you’ve cleared a major hurdle. But, the race isn’t over yet. The next steps involve waiting for a visa number to become available, which is like waiting for your number to be called at the deli counter, but much, much slower. Then, you can apply for adjustment of status (if you’re in the U.S.) or for a visa through consular processing (if you’re outside the U.S.). This part of the process is crucial for moving towards getting your Green Card.

Can I Appeal If My Form I-360 Is Denied?

Absolutely! If your I-360 petition faces denial, it’s not the end of the road. You have the option to appeal the decision or file a motion to reopen or reconsider the case. It’s akin to asking for a second opinion when you’re not satisfied with the first. This step allows you to present new evidence or argue a point that might have been overlooked. If you are planning to appeal a form i-360 denial, working with an immigration attorney will give you the best chance of success.

After Form I-360 Is Approved, How Long Until I Receive My Green Card?

Crossing the finish line involves one final wait. After your I-360 is approved, the time to actually get your Green Card can vary. If you’re adjusting your status within the U.S., it might take 6 months to a year, or sometimes longer, to receive your Green Card after filing the necessary paperwork. If you’re processing your visa abroad, the timeline can also depend on the consular processing times, which vary by country.

North County Immigration – Here To Help!

Navigating the path to U.S. immigration through forms like the I-360 can be a journey filled with complexities and anticipation. From understanding what the I-360 form entails, to patiently waiting for its approval, and navigating the steps that follow, each phase is crucial and requires meticulous attention to detail. But remember, you’re not alone in this journey.

At North County Immigration, we understand the intricacies of the immigration process and the importance of each step toward achieving your American dream. Whether you’re facing the initial stages of filing your I-360, waiting for approval, or seeking guidance on what comes next, our expert team is here to support and guide you through every step.

Don’t let the maze of paperwork and procedures overwhelm you. Let North County Immigration, led by our founder and dedicated attorney Anna Hysell, be your compass in the complex world of immigration law. With our expertise and personalized approach, we’ll help illuminate your path toward a successful outcome.

If you have questions about your I-360 petition, or if you’re seeking assistance with any aspect of the immigration process, we encourage you to reach out. Contact North County Immigration today, and take the next step in your journey with confidence. Together, we can navigate the path to your future in the United States.

Contact us today!


By Anna M. Hysell

Ms. Hysell is the founding and managing attorney of North County Immigration. After graduating from law school at the University of Wisconsin and getting several years of experience, Ms. Hysell returned to her native Southern California to open an office in North San Diego County to serve clients from the Bay Area to the Mexican Border. She frequently speaks at law conferences, law schools, and workshops providing training to other lawyers. Ms. Hysell is committed to representing individuals with the resolve, compassion, ethics, and values she believes everyone deserves.