Are you a student going to USA in 2022 for study with the hope of eventually obtaining a green card? Congratulations on getting admitted to a US university!! But the bad news is you may have to wait for 100 years to get a green card if you plan to settle down in USA after your studies. Read our blog to know more.
Thousands of students start their academic and professional journey in USA and wait in line for a number of years for their green card. Indian citizens living in USA for more than 10 years have not yet received their green card due to the limited employment-based quota. If you are going to USA in 2022, you may have to wait for almost 100 years to obtain a Green Card. Based on our communication with our associate US immigration lawyer, we would like to explain why this is happening.
October 2022 Visa Bulletin
The Dates of Filing Chart from the October 2022 Visa Bulletin show that EB2 India will retrogress well over 2 years to May 1, 2012. This means Indian citizens with advanced degrees, sponsored by their employers and living in USA for more than 10 years, are still in line for receiving their green cards.
The unfortunate part is people sponsored for EB2 India green cards in 2022 will have to wait for 100 years to obtain their green card! This means all EB2 Indian professionals may not even be alive when they get a green card. They will have to keep extending their H1-B visas every 3 years until they retire or until the government refuses to renew the visa. After which they will have to return to India.
One may question why this has come to pass. The main reason behind this situation is the outdated immigration laws. The number of employment-based green cards available to professionals with advanced degrees is only 28.6% of the 140,000. Additionally, the country limits EB2 green cards for people born in the country to only 7% of the total. As a result, the number of Indian professionals with advance-degrees who are obtaining green cards has drastically reduced.
Furthermore, not all countries have limits on EB1, EB2 and EB3 green cards. Thus, unused green cards are offered to some Indians waiting in line for years.
Current situation of EB2 India
Currently, 140,000 people are waiting for their green cards, and 80% of them are Indian citizens. Considering the fact that US employers are dependent upon highly-educated Indians, one wonders why a quota of EB2 India immigrants is limited to 7% of the total number of immigrants?
Except immigrants from India and China, no other nationalities are waiting in queue to obtain a green card. It seems like citizens of India and China are being penalised due to the county of their birth.
Additionally, immigrant families are facing another hurdle. Children born abroad, after turning 21, are not allowed in USA. They are not even permitted to stay in line as dependents for a green card. Many such children become undocumented and are forced to go back to their home country after turning 21.
Is there a solution?
As discussed above, it can clearly be seen that US immigration laws are antiquated and require reform. If reforms don’t come soon, highly educated Indians will get demotivated about going to USA. Sensing the need of the hour, Senator Rand Paul, an American physician and politician serving as junior U.S. senator, has introduced the Backlog Elimination, Legal Immigration, and Employment Visa Enhancement (BELIEVE) Act.
This Act aims to end the limits placed on green cards for employment-based immigrants. It also proposes to increase the number of green cards for EB2 immigrants from 140,000 to 270,000. Additionally, entire families – spouses and minor children – will be included in the quota.
It doesn’t end here. The BELIEVE Act will eliminate the EB2 and EB3 India green card waiting times. The Act creates a levelled playing field for employment-based immigrants who must play by the rules and help the county by boosting the US economy.
To summarise, many highly educated Indian citizens waiting for green cards in USA may finally see a ray of hope in form of the BELIEVE Act.