The Green Card backlog has reached epic proportions, leaving many high-skilled immigrants in a state of perpetual uncertainty. A bipartisan group of 56 US lawmakers, led by Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Larry Bucshon, has called on President Joe Biden to address this pressing issue and take executive action to expedite the process for Indian Green Card applicants.
The current backlog has led to a jaw-dropping 195-year wait for Indian immigrants seeking Green Cards. The situation arises from the seven per cent country cap on employment-based Green Card allocation, disproportionately affecting Indian tech professionals and highly skilled STEM graduates.
Calls for relief
In response to the mounting concerns of the immigrant Indian community, the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS USA) has taken action. They are pushing for relief for Indian H-1B visa holders stuck in Green Card processing. FIIDS launched a change petition, reached out to representatives, organizations, and influencers, and contacted the Bureau of Consular Services and USCIS to make priority dates current for Green Card applicants.
The lawmakers’ letter urges the administration to mark all dates for filing employment-based visa applications as “current,” regardless of applicants’ country-based priority date. This administrative action would provide relief to thousands of individuals navigating the US immigration system and could make some eligible for employment authorization documents, allowing them to change jobs, start businesses, and travel abroad without penalty.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi believes that using existing law to ease bureaucratic delays in the immigration system will strengthen the economy and create jobs. Congressman Bucshon highlights the need for legal immigrants to have the flexibility to change jobs and travel without obstacles.
Also read | Missed Canada’s H1-B Open Work Permit slots? Here are alternative options to enter Canada’s labour market without LMIA
Immigration Voice President Aman Kapoor emphasized that the proposed measure is a game changer for nearly one million high-skilled immigrants, granting them the basic human rights of work and travel. Kapoor calls out the discriminatory nature of the immigration system, where Indian nationals wait up to 200 years for a Green Card while citizens from 150 other countries have no wait at all.
(With inputs from PTI)