November 28, 2023

Immigration Green Card

Immigration Is Good For You

Green Card: Waiting time for employer-sponsored green cards rises

2 min read
The processing time for employer sponsored green cards has crossed the three-year wait time in 2022, reported TOI.

However, paying a sum of $2,500 could reduce the delay by at least seven months, bringing it down to 2 years and 5 months.

“Paying a $2,500 fee could cut this wait to “only” 2 years and 5 months. The government has added nearly 16 months to the average green card process since 2016, with more than a year added in 2021 and 2022 alone,” TOI quoted David J Bier, associate director of immigration studies at Cato Institute, as saying.

Employers can opt to pay $2,500 fee, compared to the $700 regular processing fee, to get a response in 15 days. The regular processing time in 2016 was reduced to 1.6 years, from 1.9 years earlier, provided that the individual pays a premium fee of $2,500.

Bier said these processing delays come on top of the time to wait for a green card cap slot to become available under the annual limits (which can be many years).

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The employer sponsored immigrants go through six steps including a prefiling stage that requires the applicant and employer to provide documents to prove their eligibility for a green card. This is followed by the Department of Labour evaluating prevailing wages, skill level and area code. In the case of wage determination, the wait time has gone up three-fold to 182 days in 2022, from 76 in 2016.

Bier said the process is leading to massive processing backlogs in the employer-sponsored immigration system. “Again, these processing backlogs are in addition to the backlog of workers waiting for a cap spot to become available,” he said.

This could affect America’s performance in global competition for talent since other countries grant green cards in a matter of a few weeks or months, not years, said Bier.

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