What's behind long Green Card wait time for India? An official explains
Green Card: The official said that the annual limit is established by the US Congress on family-sponsored preference green cards.
The long wait for green cards for people from India, China and other countries is mainly due to the country-based quota system, a senior official said as per news agency PTI. Its allocation can be changed only by the US Congress, the official added.
A Green Card- Permanent Resident Card- is issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that they have been granted the permission of residing permanently in the country. Every country has limits on the issuance of green cards to individuals. US immigration law provides for approximately 140,000 employment-based green cards to be issued each year- of which only seven per can go to individuals from a single country.
Douglas Rand, the senior advisor to the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), said that the annual limit is established by the US Congress on family-sponsored preference green cards. It is 2,26,000 for the whole world while the annual limit on employment-based green cards is 1,40,000, he said. Beyond this, there is a per-country limit as well.
"That means 25,620. That is why individuals from India, China, Mexico and the Philippines typically face such long wait times than people from other countries," Douglas Rand said.
"There is demand for so many more than 25,620 green cards for both family and employment-based every year. Unfortunately, only Congress can change these annual limits. So our job is to do everything we can within these constraints to ensure that when those Green Card numbers are available, we make sure that they're utilised each and every year," he added.
"Suffice to say for now that it is about supply and demand. Congress has constrained supply. Demand continues to go up. Not just from India, but all over the world. When the demand for a particular Green Card category or a country within a category exceeds the supply of numbers available then that category and country are considered oversubscribed," the official explained.