After I file, how long will it take before the foreign national can immigrate?
The combination of high demand and the limits set by law on how many people can immigrate each year under each category and from a particular country affects the waiting time. For some foreign nationals there may be no waiting period, while others may have a significant waiting period.
Generally speaking, if a foreign national entered the
United States legally and is presently in the
(and meets certain other requirements), he or she may be able to file an
application to adjust to permanent resident status if the employment-based
immigrant visa category for that foreign national is currently available. United States
For other foreign nationals who are on the visa waiting list, once the foreign national reaches the “front of the line,” the U.S. Department of State will contact and invite him or her to apply for an immigrant visa.
What about the foreign national’s family?
In most cases, when the foreign national’s place in line is reached and he or she applies to immigrate, the foreign national’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 can apply as dependents.
For example: You file a petition on behalf of a prospective employee. You cannot directly petition for the employee’s spouse and children. However, the employee's spouse and children can apply for immigrant visas (or adjustment of status) at the same time as your prospective employee when the prospective employee reaches the front of the line.