According to current data from the US immigration office, the wait for green cards for Indian applicants is set to continue, with 369,322 applicants having approved employment visa petitions awaiting visa availability.
Almost all of these are candidates in the EB2 and EB3 (for professionals and skilled workers) categories, which are used by technology businesses to sponsor immigrant worker visas. On these visas, the option of obtaining a green card, or permanent residence, is available.
According to Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at LawQuest, the situation just shows how many people are awaiting their visa numbers in order to obtain a green card. They have not revealed the number of family members associated with these primary applications, which is significant because visas awarded to family members are also tallied towards the per-country maximum allowed each year. As a result, we are looking at several decades of waiting.
These applicants have a Form I-140 that has been authorized, which is the first step in obtaining an employment-based green card. After an I-140 is accepted, employment-based Indian-born applicants must normally wait many years for their priority dates to become current.
Because of USCIS processing delays, the final step of the green card process, the issue of the immigrant visa, might take several years after the dates become current.
According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data, Indians filed the most I-140 petitions in the first two quarters of fiscal 2022 (October 2021-March 2022), in line with recent patterns.
During the six-month period, the agency received 37,719 applications. During the same time period, 25,274 applications were approved, including those that were submitted earlier. This does not imply that they have received green cards.
This year, the US agency has sped up the processing of employment-based green cards, eliminating in-person interviews for many applicants.
According to Rajiv S Khanna, managing partner at immigration.com, the Trump administration instituted a practice of interviewing all employment-based applicants, which adds multiple years to the green card procedure.
Historically, employment-based green card candidates in the United States were rarely subjected to personal interviews. Nearly 80,000 green cards were unused last fiscal year due to processing delays, something the immigration office is attempting to avoid this year.
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Source: The Economic Times