The employment green-card backlog for EB-2 and EB-3 categories for 1,070,000 Indians will take 134 years to process.
Nearly 134,000 children will age out before a green card can be obtained, thus carrying a high risk of family separation.
Every year, the US sets aside 140,000 green cards for employment-based applicants, with a seven per cent cap per country.
According to a recent study by David J Bier, associate director of immigration studies with the Cato Institute in the US, if factors such as death and aging-out are considered, the waiting period for a green card is 54 years, else it is 134 years.
Once children turn 21, they cannot continue with their H-4 visa and are tied to their parents’ H-1B work visa.
On aging out (attaining the age of 21), these children are referred to as “documented dreamers” and they have no option but to obtain an F-1 visa meant for international students, which has limited work opportunities and higher fees. The only other alternative is to self-deport to India or another country.
Bier stated: “The fact that Chinese and Indians dominate the backlog is the result of the country caps where green cards are not issued proportionally to the number of pending applicants in each country but rather limited arbitrarily at 7 per cent per nation of birth.”
Recently, the America’s Children bill was introduced, protecting the “documented dreamers” from aging out of their legal immigration status on turning 21. The bill is yet to be enacted.