Indian workers face up to 134 years of waiting for green cards

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More than 400,000 Indian workers in the United States hoping to obtain an employment-based green card will have to wait 134 years. according to to a new analysis from the libertarian think tank Cato Institute.

The U.S. government’s annual cap of 140,000 employment-based visas and 7% per-country limit have led to a backlog of 1.8 million cases, of which 1.1 million are from India.

As of March 2023, there was a backlog of 80,324 employment-related petitions, comprising 171,635 applicants, including spouses and minor children. Additionally, 1.3 million people were placed on a waiting list, while 289,000 were undergoing treatment. adjust their status. Some employed immigrants were also waiting for their visas to be processed at consulates and embassies abroad, although the State Department did not disclose the exact number of these cases. According to Cato, there may be some overlap in the backlog due to multiple petitions filed on behalf of the same person.

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The majority of late files fall under the EB-2 category, for workers with higher diplomas. Another 19% are in the EB-3 category for employees with a bachelor’s degree. THE EB-4 This category, which includes “special immigrants” such as Afghan and Iraqi interpreters, represents around 13% while EB-5 Large investors represent 6% of cases.

The overwhelming majority of the backlog, about 1.1 million cases out of 1.8 million, comes from India (63%), while almost 250,000 cases come from China (14%). The Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala contribute nearly 10 percent, mostly within the special EB-4 immigrant category. For new Indian applicants, the backlog in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories effectively translates to a life sentence, with an astonishing wait of 134 years. Cato estimates that about 424,000 job seekers will die while waiting for their green cards.

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