Report: 151 Years Could Be The Wait Time For Green Card For Over 4 Lakh Indians

  • The highest skilled category of EB-1 immigrants has the shortest wait time
  • EB- 2 workers with advanced degrees are facing the biggest backlog
  • Only 22,602 Indians were allotted the legal permanent residency cards in 2017

WASHINGTON: Estimations made by a think-tank reveal that Indians who own an advanced degree might have to wait for 150 years to acquire a green card to be able to live and work permanently in the US. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated the number of candidates for green cards, and Cato Institute, a think-tank in Washington made these calculations based on the data revealed. The estimate is also based on the number of green cards issued in 2017. Around 632,219 Indian immigrants are currently waiting for their green cards, as of 20th April 2018.

Immigrants belonging to EB-1 category are in the shortest wait line. These exceptional Indian immigrants have a wait time of “only” six years, reported Cato Institute.

Around 83,578 Indians belong to the EB-1 category and are waiting for their green cards, according to the USCIS.

As of 20th April 2018, there are about 1,15,273 Indians in the EB-3 category, those with bachelor’s degrees, waiting for their green cards. The wait time for these applicants is about 17 years.

Reportedly, the biggest wait line is for immigrants with advanced degrees in the EB-2 category, where there are around 4,33,368 applicants.

All this is because of a current law that imposes a per-country-limit of seven percent.

For the record, the total number of immigrants in the waiting line is 632,219, including spouses and children.

Only about 22,602 Indians in 2017 were issued green cards. This number comprised of all the three categories of applicants.

The EB-2 category in 217 received only 13% of green cards, despite having 69% of backlogs, as the allocation of cards is not based on backlogs.

Every category is assured a minimum of 40,040 issuances of green cards and EB-2 right now is also subject to the per-country-limit which is preventing the immigrants from receiving more than 7% of green cards.

Cato Institute explains that for green cards based on employment, the limit of per-country only applies when the country is full, denoting if any green cards are going unused, then the Indian applicants can receive them even after the 7% limit is crossed.

The report said the system is very inconsistent and said that if in some future years, the per-country-limit does not fill up, the EB-2 applicants may receive the green cards before the coming century. Contrarily, if the per-country-limit becomes full for the EB-3 category, then they might have to wait for 40 years, instead of 17.

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