150-Year Wait for Indian Immigrants With Advanced Degrees

Published: 06/13/2018

Source: http://bit.ly/2Mpq0T5

I have previously written that no one knows how long legal immigrant workers will have to wait for permanent residency (i.e. green cards) in the United States, particularly from India where the wait times are the longest. But now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released the number of applicants for each category, so we can compute rough estimates of the number of years it will take people applying today to receive their green cards.

Table 1 provides the data. As of April 20, 2018, there were 632,219 Indian immigrants and their spouses and minor children waiting for green cards. The shortest wait is for the highest skilled category for EB-1 immigrants with “extraordinary ability.” The extraordinary immigrants from India will have to wait “only” six years. EB-3 immigrants—those with bachelor’s degrees—will have to wait about 17 years. 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.

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