Tech giants in the United States are concerned. The USCIS (The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is battling a backlog of green card applications, a sizable portion of which are from abroad recruiters of American software enterprises.
According to an article, the delay in awarding permanent legal status to these talented high-skilled individuals may cause them to depart the US for another country, a loss that corporations cannot afford in a tight labour market. With the wait for a green card expected to last decades, Intel director of labour strategy David Shahoulian expressed alarm.
“That may mean that we lose out on some top talent as a nation,” he said.
The US allocates only 1.40 lakh green cards for employment-based applicants each year, with a 7 per cent per nation cap. Considering the huge influx of Indians in the United States, the majority of whom possess an H-1B visa, this restrictive approach causes difficulties and has resulted in a tremendous backlog for them in the employment-based category.
According to a recent analysis conducted by David J Bier, an immigration policy expert at Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank, the employment-based green card waitlist for qualified Indians reached 7.19 lakh in September 2021, with a 90-year wait period. The amount of employment-based green cards issued in the last two years has increased, owing to a decrease in applications for family-based visas in 2020. The decline is attributable to poor processing owing to the pandemic and some Trump administration measures.
Aside from the work category, another 226,000 green cards are designated for family members of US citizens and permanent residents. When family preference visas go unclaimed in a given year due to low demand, procedural delays, or both, the visas are transferred to the “employment-based category,” although they expire unless awarded by the end of the following fiscal year.
The 280,000 employment-based green cards available this year are more than double the regular 140,000–a number that has been frozen since 1990. On the other hand, 100,000 of these are likely to be thrown away. Despite the employment-based applications, this is the case. This is despite the fact that employment-based applications are among USCIS’s “highest priority workloads.” Last year, 66,500 of the 260,000 available were squandered.
According to Kent Walker, the company’s senior legal officer, fewer than half of Google employees’ green card applications have been handled since October 2020. He argued that organizations such as Google require talented individuals from all over the world “simply to keep up.” According to Intel, over 70% of engineering and computer science master’s and PhD students in US colleges are foreign-born.
As a result, there aren’t enough qualified Americans to fill the company’s high-skilled positions.
The USCIS stated that it is allocating employees and resources to prevent the possibility of visas going unused. It claimed it used more visas in the first half of this fiscal year than it did in the same period the previous year. The tech companies noticed an increase in the speed with which green cards are being processed and expressed hope that officials will build on that momentum.
The USCIS stated that it is allocating employees and resources to prevent the possibility of visas going unused. It claimed it used more visas in the first half of this fiscal year than it did in the same period the previous year. The tech companies noticed an increase in the speed with which green cards are being processed and expressed hope that officials will build on that momentum. They are also expecting federal measures to ease high-skilled immigration, as part of broader legislation aimed at boosting domestic chip production.
Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.