Washington: There is a lengthy 12-year waiting period for Indians applying for permanent residency also known as Green Card in the US as skilled employees, according to a new report. However, India is also among the top countries whose residents get Green Cards every year.
In 2015, about 36,318 Indians adjusted their status to permanent residency while 27,798 Indians are new arrivals who received lawful permanent residency in the form of a Green Card, Pew Research said.
“In one employment-related category, people from India applying for permanent residence as skilled employees currently have a 12-year waiting list. In other words, the government currently is processing applications filed in May of 2005,” the report said.
Pew said from fiscal 2010 to 2014, about 36 per cent of employment-related Green cards – more than 222,000 – were granted to H-1B visa holders. Green Card, is the immigration status of a person authorised to live and work in the US permanently. A Green Card holder can apply for US citizenship after five years of residency. This period is shortened to three years if married to a US citizen.
Green Card holders who adjusted their status are more likely than new arrivals to be in their prime working years of 25 to 64. Among those who adjusted their status, 72 per cent were of ages 25 to 64, compared with 55 per cent of new arrivals, the research report said.
According to the study, in every fiscal year since 2004, the US has issued more Green Cards to immigrants living in the country on another visa who adjust their legal status than to new arrivals.
In 2015, there were 508,716 new arrivals who received lawful permanent residency in the form of a Green Card and 542,315 people adjusted their status, it said. In every fiscal year since 2004, the US has issued more Green Cards to immigrants living in the country on another visa who adjusted their legal status than to new arrivals.
Since 2004, a total of 7.4 million people who adjusted their status and 5.5 million new arrivals have received lawful permanent residency in the form of a Green Card, the study said.
Employment-related categories (including workers’ family members) accounted for 14 per cent of 2015 Green Cards. Refugees (11 per cent) and people granted asylum (3 per cent) together made up a similar share, it said. There is also a “diversity” category for people from countries with historically low rates of US immigration (5 per cent).