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US Inexperienced Card Disaster: 400k+ Face 134-Yr Wait

Over 4 lakh Indians would die ready for a Inexperienced Card within the US because of an enormous backlog of pending functions, in keeping with a brand new research.

Lengthy red-light for the Inexperienced Card

It’s no secret that many Indians maintain aspirations to settle abroad for a greater life amidst nice socio-economic turmoil, mirrored within the sheer quantity of US visa functions submitted by Indians, with the USA making ready to approve almost 1,000,000 of them this yr. Nevertheless, the await a inexperienced card, which grants non-Individuals a everlasting residence within the States, has been presupposed to be 134 years for Indian candidates underneath the EB-2 class, leaving round 4.1 lakh Indians to actually wait a lifetime earlier than buying a inexperienced card.

Evaluating it to a “life sentence”, David J. Bier, affiliate director of immigration research at Washington DC-based Cato Institute, the group behind the research, pointed on the distinction between public notion and the fact of the immigration course of. Moderately than standing in a line, he mentioned, immigration is extra akin to successful the lottery; doable, however extremely inconceivable.

In accordance with the research, a backlog of 18 lakh circumstances was recorded for employment-based inexperienced playing cards this yr, with 11 lakh of these circumstances belonging to Indians. Typically, the method for acquiring a inexperienced card begins by way of a petition filed by an employer for his or her employee. Nevertheless, US coverage dictates {that a} single nation can obtain solely 7% of the inexperienced playing cards accessible in a fiscal yr, and if no spot is on the market underneath the caps, the petition is put underneath a wait-list. 

The report additional states that in March 2023 almost 80,000 employment-based petitions have been underneath the method for doable approval, signifying almost 1.7 lakh individuals with spouses and minor kids included. That is separate from the 13 lakh functions on the wait-list, together with 2.9 lakh functions representing these already dwelling within the US and vying for a Inexperienced Card.

Indians and Chinese language worst affected

A more in-depth have a look at the information offered reveals that greater than half of the functions within the backlog belong to the EB-2 class (professionals with superior levels employed to U.S companies), with 19% belonging to the EB-3 class for professionals with no less than a bachelor’s diploma. Apparently, Indian candidates make up the vast majority of the backlog with 63%, one other 2.5 lakh functions coming from China (19%) whereas the Northern Triangle international locations (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala) constituted round 10% of the backlog, primarily underneath the EB-4 particular immigrant class.

Graph included within the research offering a breakdown of inexperienced card functions (Picture Supply: Cato Institute)

The 134 year-long wait may be attributed to this voluminous variety of Indian functions caught in limbo, with the Chinese language additionally having to face a 17 yr wait earlier than receiving a inexperienced card. Issues have been additional difficult as a latest coverage change from the Biden administration has tweaked the implementation of country-wise limits for the EB-4 class. That is believed to extend the inexperienced playing cards to the Northern Triangle international locations and Mexico, however may additional exacerbate the backlog in “different” international locations, in keeping with the research.

One other implication of the 134 yr wait highlighted by the research, is that almost 1.3 lakh Indian kids would “age out” earlier than the backlog clears, because the approval of a inexperienced card is usually primarily based on one’s age; too previous, and the US administration may see you as a “public cost”—individuals having fun with a number of authorities advantages.

US Green Card Crisis: 400k+ Face 134-Year Wait - Asiana Times
If immortality have been actual, Indian candidates must wait 134 years earlier than getting a US inexperienced card (Picture Supply: Cato Institute)

Arbitrary insurance policies

Bier attributed such whopping ready occasions, together with the dominance of Indian and Chinese language functions within the backlog to the US’ coverage of granting simply 1.4 lakh employment-based inexperienced playing cards per yr, whereas sustaining a 7% cap for every nation. These caps, in keeping with him, aren’t assigned with the inhabitants of every nation in thoughts, however relatively arbitrarily.

Douglas Rand, a senior official of the US immigration company echoed Bier’s beliefs in a digital city corridor organized by the US State Division in Might this yr to reply visa and consular queries of some Indian-Individuals. He commented that whereas the US Congress, the nation’s legislative arm, has constricted provide, the demand for inexperienced playing cards has continued to develop.

Except for the backlog in employment-based functions, there are additionally the 83 lakh family-sponsored circumstances caught in one other backlog, in keeping with the research. Confronted with such tall boundaries and ludicrous ready occasions, Cato Institute has deemed immigration to be almost not possible, a prospect delved in one other research of theirs. This isn’t to low cost the truth that even to hitch the backlog, one should must clear one other set of hoops and barrels, with the minority who do cross that preliminary hurdle having to take a seat with an ever-increasing risk of withering away earlier than receiving a inexperienced card.