Washington: To get a legal permanent residence status in the United States, popularly known as Green Card, more than three-fourths in the waiting list are Indians, latest official figures suggest. Indians also have the longest waiting period for Green Card.
As of May 2018, there were 395,025 foreign nationals waiting for Green Card under the employment-based preference category. Of these 306,601 were Indians, according to the latest figures released by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
This does not include counts of dependent beneficiaries associated with the approved immigrant petitions, it said.
Indian-Americans, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US mainly on H-1B work visas, suffer due to the current immigration system which imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of green cards or permanent legal residency.
India is followed by a distant second China, which currently has 67,031 Chinese waiting for the Green Card. Apart from these, no other country has more than 10,000 people waiting for Green Card. Other countries in Green Card waiting list are El Salvador (7252), Guatemala (6,027), Honduras (5,402), Philippines (1,491), Mexico (700) and Vietnam (521).
Under the existing law, no more than seven per cent of the Green cards may be issued to natives of any one independent country in a fiscal year. Due to this, the current wait period for Indian skilled immigrants for green card can be as long as 70 years.
According to a newly-launched group, GCReforms.org, under the current regulation, skilled immigrants from India need to wait anywhere between 25-92 years for a Green Card due to per-country limits.
The US Green Card, also known as the permanent resident card, gives the holder permanent residence in the United States. Green Card holders can legally live and work in the US. The Green Card is the first step toward US citizenship.