Around 357,720 Indians have not been able to finish their applications for an employment-based green card however they have been processed, because of the green card backlog currently, information released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showed.
This is almost eight times higher than China, which ranks second with 46,926 such candidates.
“These are the principal candidates who have an approved I-140 and are waiting to either file their I-485 application or who might have filed using the filing chart, yet their priority dates are not currently under the final action chart,” said Nandini Nair, partner at Greenspoon Marder, a law office.
When the I-140, or initial petition for residency, is approved, the candidates can file for an adjustment of status.
“There is a substantial backlog for Indian nationals as they are the highest percentage of candidates for the employment-based green card,” Nair said. “The line is so astronomically huge, that without Congressional intervention to fix the work employment-based green card system, a critical part of these candidates may not receive their green cards in their lifetime.”
3.5 Lakhs of Indians Stuck in Green Card Backlog
Organizations often sponsor permanent residency for employees to hold on to high-skilled labor. In recent years, American technology organizations including Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Cognizant have arisen as some of the top sponsors of green cards for their employees, as indicated by USCIS data.
Over time, slow processing coupled with high demand has resulted in an increased backlog for Indian candidates. Every year, the United States issues 140,000 green cards, subject to a 7% per-country limit.
“Constant and unreasonable delays have become an integral part of the USCIS and other immigration processes…,” said Rajiv S Khanna, managing lawyer at Immigration.com. “While we can understand some delays that have been built into the process by rule. For example, country-based immigration, processing delays of a year or more in benefits. That should require only minutes to adjudicate are uncivilized.”
Organizations and pro-immigration lawmakers have been calling for immigration reform. Because it would help the US retain high-skilled talent and aid the local economy.
However, most attempts at bringing about regulatory change have not made it through the US Congress.
“While Congress is completely aware of the issues, little has been done to correct the situation. For a country that claims to be a country of immigrants. The disregard for its own needs served by immigration is emblematic of our systemic dysfunction,” said Khanna.
Most recently, the Build Back Better Bill has proposed substantial immigration change. It has been passed by the US House of Representatives yet should be cleared by the Senate before it can become law.