Is There a Plan for the Employment Green Card Backlog?

February 5, 2020

The number of legally employed immigrants working in the U.S. and waiting for a green card is at its highest level ever. There are currently about 800,000 in the employment green card backlog, and for many, the odds of obtaining permanent residence status are low. Among those are Indian nationals. It could take a half-century for an Indian national applying for a green card today to receive one. Chinese nationals make up the second-largest numbers of the backlog.

Quota Unchanged for 30 Years

The annual quota for Indian nationals was last revised in 1990. That was long before the tech revolution made well-educated Indian nationals the primary source for those seeking green cards via employment. The quota for all green cards remains at 140,000 per year.

Business leaders note that this situation will cause many Indian tech workers to leave the U.S., since they are unlikely to receive a green card. Many other valuable workers will not even consider coming to the U.S, and other countries will enjoy their in-demand skills. American companies will continue to move jobs overseas if they cannot find comparable workers here.

Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act

One possible solution to this green card crisis was the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act (FHSIA), but it did not pass a Senate vote. The FHISA would have eliminated the seven percent limit per country on employment visas. While it would have benefited Indian nationals, it would also serve as a detriment to skilled employees from other nations, as it did not increase the number of immigrants allowed into the U.S. at all. In fact, the average wait time for a green card for a person from any country would have increased to 17 years. Professionals outside of India would have little to no incentive to relocate to the U.S. under the FHISA.

The Relief Act increases employer and family-based green cards while eliminating country quotas. The Cato Institute supports the bill because it will double the amount of legal immigrants receiving green cards, and wait times will see significant reductions. Indian nationals do not support the Relief Act because they know it cannot pass in a Republican-controlled Senate. People who lived and worked in the U.S. are now finding their children aging out of the system at 21 and threatened with deportation to a country with which they are unfamiliar. Unless this crisis is addressed quickly, the backlog will continue to grow. The 800,000 in line for green cards today will grow to 1.1 million in a decade.

Vineland Immigration Lawyers at the MC Law Group, LLC Help Those Waiting for a Green Card

If you or someone you know is waiting to receive a green card, you need the services of the experienced Vineland immigration lawyers at the MC Law Group, LLC. We can provide advice regarding all your options. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide. Call us at 215-496-0690 or contact us online for a free consultation.