I applied for U.S. Green Card for my husband, the Form I-130 has been
approved. We were told that the I-485 application is in the process of
background checks by FBI, after their fingerprinting. What is the
background check process, and how long it may take?
applicants for a U.S. immigration benefit are subject to criminal and
national security background checks to ensure they are eligible for
that benefit. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the
Federal agency that oversees immigration benefits, performs checks on
every applicant, regardless of ethnicity, national origin or religion.
FBI name checks are also required for many applications. The FBI name
check is totally different from the FBI fingerprint check. The records
maintained in the FBI name check process consist of administrative,
applicant, criminal, personnel and other files compiled by law
enforcement. Initial responses to this check generally take about two
In about 80 percent of the cases, no match is found. Of the remaining
20 percent, most are resolved within six months. Less than one percent
of cases subject to an FBI name check remain pending longer than six
months. Some of these cases involve complex, highly sensitive
information and cannot be resolved quickly.
Even after FBI has provided an initial response to USCIS concerning a
match, the name check is not complete until full information is
obtained and eligibility issues arising from it are resolved.