Skilled Indians struggle with long queues for US Green Cards
Indians account for a large part of visa applicants who wish to pursue their American dreams, and based on their sheer talent and skills they want a respectable life in that country.
But not everything is all right even if it seems so from outside. Permanent residenship in the US, a nation full of immigrants which many intend to call it their full-time home, remains a mere dream as their applications remain stacked in the queue for years.
Anuj Christian, an Indian living in the US for over 13 years legally, said his immigration petition filed by the employer is approved, but his green card is yet to see the light of the day.
He said he arrived in the US on a student visa to pursue masters in science and later got a job when his company filed for the work visa, which is commonly known as H1B visa.
Later, the employer filed the immigration petition to the relevant authority and was approved.
"I still do not have my green card," he said. He argued his green card did not get issued as US immigration policy has an upper limit for a country irrespective of its population or other parameters.
"I did not get green card because I was born in India. If I was born anywhere else or any other country than India, I would have had my green card by now," he said.
Category of his green card application was "employment based immigrants" which is for people with advanced degree or exceptional ability and the category was created to fill the skill gap in the labour market and to ensure the US doesn't lack behind in tech, science, and healthcare.
Total number of green cards the US issues each year for employment-based immigrants category is 140,000.
"Putting a limit is fair but what is not fair is that the Immigration Act of 1990 put a 7 per cent cap (per country) on this category, which means no single country can get more than 9,800 visas under this category each year," he argued.
"As soon as 9800 green cards are issued each year to one particular country, people of other countries who haven't reached the quota get more priority even if they are less skilled or less experienced."
As per estimates, he said as many as 1 million Indians living in the US are waiting in queue to get their green cards and are uncertain when their backlog will be cleared.
Stating that not many are aware about these issues, he is currently on a journey to capitals of 50 states in the US and intends to complete it within a year. He only motive is to raise awareness among people.
He said he believes there isn't much awareness among Americans about what he termed as a "discriminatory and unfair" country cap on skilled-based green cards, and added it's hurting the US economy.