US official reveals key reason behind long green card wait time for India

A senior US official has revealed the reason behind the long and agonizing wait for green cards for people from India, China, Mexico and the Philippines.

He said this is mainly due to the country-based quota system in its allocation, which can only be changed by the US Congress.

A green card, officially known as a permanent resident card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as proof that the bearer has been granted the privilege of permanent residence.

annual limit established by the US Congress

Douglas Rand, senior advisor to the director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), said the annual limit set by Congress for family-sponsored preference green cards is 226,000 for the entire world, while the employment-based annual limit for green cards is 140,000. .

On top of that, the per-country limit is set at seven percent of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limit; He told Indian Americans during a virtual town hall organized by the State Department on visa and consular issues.

“That means 25,620,” Rand said in response to a question. “That’s why people in India, China, Mexico and the Philippines usually have to wait so long compared to people in other countries.”

“There are more than 25,620 green cards sought each year, both family and employment-based. Unfortunately, only Congress can change these annual limits. Card numbers are available, we make sure they are used every year Rand said.

Thousands of Indian professionals have been waiting for a decade

For hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals, the wait for a green card currently exceeds a decade, and at times, visa wait times go back years.

“Suffice it to say for now it’s about supply and demand. Congress has constrained supply. Demand continues to increase. Not only from India, but around the world. When a particular green card category or country If the demand within a category exceeds the supply of the number available then that category and country is considered oversubscribed,” Rand said.

The State Department applies a cut-off date in the Visa Bulletin to ensure that visa use remains within those annual limits as well as category and per-country limits. Congress establishes the order of thought.

What is meant by regression?

“Regression means that because of high demand for visas in excess of the statutory limit, visas are not available to all non-citizens who seek them, regardless of whether they filed an application for adjustment of status or otherwise for permanent residence.” Yes,” he said. ,

RAND stressed US plans to continue improving the accuracy and comprehensiveness of its data on employment-based adjustment of status applications. “Our goal is to resume publishing regular inventory reports.” He said that even when there is a regression, there are permanent gains.

“So, someone who had the opportunity to file for adjustment of status but who then sees their cut-off date retrograde may still be able to receive some benefits. They can apply for employment authorization.” who is not tied to a particular employer. They can apply for advanced parole to authorize travel outside the United States,” the official said.

“Once an adjustment of status application is pending for 180 days or more, they may port the underlying job opportunity to a new employer. Depending on the facts of the case, children who also applied for adjustment of status may applied, their age cannot expire. That person is generally considered to be in a period of authorized stay while the application is pending,” Rand said.