It is getting more and more difficult now to get US Green Cards easily for entry to the country and if current pendency rates are anything to go by, at least 4 lakh individuals may never get to see their access pass to America in their lifetime.
More than 10 lakh Indians are in the queue for US Green Cards, and 4 lakh of them may die waiting, due to the extreme level of pendency in the process, a recent study says.
The study says the backlog in issuing Green Cards, which offer legal permanent residency in the United States, has reached alarming levels, with an estimated average waiting time of 134 years.
The study, by David J Bier of the Cato Institute, states “new applicants from India will face a lifetime wait, and more than 400,000 will die before they receive a green card.”
“About 424,000 employment-based applicants will die waiting, and over 90 per cent of them will be Indians. Given that Indians are currently half of all new employer-sponsored applicants, roughly half of all newly sponsored immigrants will die before they receive a green card,” the study states.
The severity of this issue is largely due to the annual cap of 7 per cent on each country for Green Cards. The demand often exceeds these limits, leading to a significant backlog.
For new Indian applicants, the backlog in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories of the Green Card has become akin to a “life sentence”, the Cato Institute study noted.
Also, over one lakh Indian children in the US are at risk of being separated from their parents due to the backlog.
As they wait indefinitely for the Green Card, 1.34 lakh Indian children who stay in the US under the H-4 visa system will age out as they reach 21. This will lead to forced separation from their parents.
They will have to either secure an F-1 a student visa or have to self-deport to their home country, the study says.