Highly Qualified Indians Might Have To Wait For 151 Years For US Green Card: Report

The biggest backlog of green card applicants is for EB-2 workers There are 34,824 Indian applicants under EB-1 category: USCIS Those with bachelor's degrees (EB-3) will have to wait for about 17 years

The biggest backlog of US green card applicants is for EB-2 workers, who have advanced degrees
The biggest backlog of US green card applicants is for EB-2 workers, who have advanced degrees

Indian citizens who possess advanced degrees may have to wait for as long as 151 years to procure a green card, which authorises them to live and work in the US permanently. Atleast this is what Cato Institute, a Washington-based think-tank projects. The calculations made by the Cato Institute are based on the number of green cards issued last year. There were 632,219 Indian immigrants and their spouses and minor children as of April 20, 2018 waiting for green cards. Out of all the categories which include EB-1 (the candidates with extraordinary ability), EB-2 (with advanced degrees), EB-3 (the applicants with bachelor's degree), the shortest wait is for the highest skilled category for EB-1 immigrants with "extraordinary ability". EB stands for employment based. The extraordinary immigrants from India will be made to wait for just 6 years before they are granted the US green card, Cato Institute's latest report claimed, reported Press Trust of India

There are 34,824 applicants from India who applied under the EB-1 category, according to the United Stated Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Along with their 48,754 spouse and children, 83,578 Indians are in queue for green card under EB-1 category. EB-3 immigrants- those with bachelor's degrees- will have to wait about 17 years, Cato Institute said. There were 54,892 Indians in the EB-3 immigrants category as of April 20.

Clubbed with 60,381 spouses and children, the total number of Indians waiting for green card in EB-3 category are 1,15,273. However, the biggest backlog is for EB-2 workers, who have advanced degrees. "At current rates of visa issuances, they will have to wait 151 years for a green card. Obviously, unless the law changes, they will have died or left by that point," Cato institute said.

According to the USCIS, there were 2,16,684 primary Indian applicants under EB-2 category and 2,16,684 spouses and children, thus making a total of 4,33,368. This is primarily because of the existing laws, which imposes per-country-limit of seven per cent. In all 306,400 primary Indian applicants are waiting for their green cards.

Clubbed with their spouses and children numbering 325,819; as many as 632,219 Indians in all are waiting for their green cards. In 2017 only 22,602 Indians were issued the legal permanent residency cards.

Of these 13,082 were in the EB-1 category, 2,879 in EB-2 category and 6,641 in Eb-3 category, according to the latest USCIS figures. Cato Institute said the green card allocation is not based on the backlog, so 69 per cent of the backlog is in the EB-2 category, but it received only 13 per cent of the green cards issued in 2017. (With PTI inputs).