April 15, 2024

Over 4 lakh Indians would die ready for a Inexperienced Card within the US on account of an enormous backlog of pending purposes, in response to a brand new examine.

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 purposes submitted by Indians, with the USA getting ready to approve almost one million of them this 12 months. Nonetheless, the look ahead to a inexperienced card, which grants non-Individuals a everlasting residence within the States, has been presupposed to be 134 years for Indian candidates beneath 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 examine, pointed on the distinction between public notion and the fact of the immigration course of. Reasonably than standing in a line, he mentioned, immigration is extra akin to profitable the lottery; attainable, however extremely inconceivable.

Based on the examine, a backlog of 18 lakh instances was recorded for employment-based inexperienced playing cards this 12 months, with 11 lakh of these instances belonging to Indians. Typically, the method for acquiring a inexperienced card begins through a petition filed by an employer for his or her employee. Nonetheless, US coverage dictates {that a} single nation can obtain solely 7% of the inexperienced playing cards out there in a fiscal 12 months, and if no spot is on the market beneath the caps, the petition is put beneath a wait-list. 

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

Indians and Chinese language worst affected

A more in-depth have a look at the info supplied reveals that greater than half of the purposes 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 a minimum of a bachelor’s diploma. Curiously, Indian candidates make up the vast majority of the backlog with 63%, one other 2.5 lakh purposes coming from China (19%) whereas the Northern Triangle international locations (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala) constituted round 10% of the backlog, primarily beneath the EB-4 particular immigrant class.

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

The 134 year-long wait may be attributed to this voluminous variety of Indian purposes caught in limbo, with the Chinese language additionally having to face a 17 12 months wait earlier than receiving a inexperienced card. Issues have been additional sophisticated as a current 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 might additional exacerbate the backlog in “different” international locations, in response to the examine.

One other implication of the 134 12 months wait highlighted by the examine, is that almost 1.3 lakh Indian youngsters would “age out” earlier than the backlog clears, because the approval of a inexperienced card is commonly primarily based on one’s age; too outdated, 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 had 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 purposes within the backlog to the US’ coverage of granting simply 1.4 lakh employment-based inexperienced playing cards per 12 months, whereas sustaining a 7% cap for every nation. These caps, in response to him, are usually not assigned with the inhabitants of every nation in thoughts, however fairly 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 Could this 12 months 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.

Other than the backlog in employment-based purposes, there are additionally the 83 lakh family-sponsored instances caught in one other backlog, in response to the examine. Confronted with such tall obstacles and ludicrous ready occasions, Cato Institute has deemed immigration to be almost unimaginable, a prospect delved in one other examine of theirs. This isn’t to low cost the truth that even to affix 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.