Indians account for the highest number of highly skilled professionals waiting to get the permanent legal status or the green card in the United States, according to recent figures released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), PTI reported.
As of May 2018, there were 395,025 foreign citizens who were waiting for the green card under the category of employment-based preference. Out of this total number of foreign nationals, 306,601 were Indians, the figures by USCIS showed. This, however, did not include counts of dependent beneficiaries who were associated with the immigrant petitions which had been approved, USICIS stated, as per the agency.
China follows India, with 67,031 Chinese people waiting for the green card. There are no other countries with more than 10,000 people in queue for the green card. The rest of the numbers are made up by El Salvador (7,252 nationals), Guatemala (6,027); Honduras (5,402); Philippines (1,491); Mexico (700) and Vietnam (521), according to the USCIS figures, the reported added.
A large number of Indian Americans, most of them highly-skilled workers, come to the United States primarily on H-1B work visas. They are among those who suffer the most under the present immigration system since it imposes a seven per cent per country quota for allotting green cards or permanent legal residency.
The U.S. green card grants permanent residence in the country to the holder, who can then live and work in the United States legally. It is also the first step toward getting U.S. citizenship.
The waiting period for skilled Indian workers who are EB-3 applicants is more than 10 years, according to a report from the Republican Policy Committee of the United States. The number of green cards issued to people directly based on their skills, experience, and education and on the needs of the employers in the United States is closer to 6 percent of the overall total, the report that was released on Feb. 6 stated.
“More than 80 percent of all employment-based green cards were issued to people already in the country who were changing from a temporary visa to permanent residence – a process called adjustment of status,” it said.
Highly qualified young Indian American professionals who have applied for permanent residentship in the United States could have a better chance of receiving the green card if a new draft proposal for immigration goes through. The proposed changes from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will have negative repercussions on immigrants who seek any kind of government welfare benefit.