A United States green card.

The backlog for a green card is so severe that a person who applies for an employment-based green card could wait decades, not years to get one. It is estimated that approximately 800,000 immigrants who work legally in the United States are impacted by this backlog. Unfortunately, the green card issue is overshadowed by other immigration issues. If you are concerned about how this could affect you, you may want to discuss your green card application with a Virginia immigration services attorney.

Indian Nationals Face Serious Problems Gaining Green Cards

One group that is largely impacted by the backlog is Indian nationals. Immigrants from India seeking employment-based green cards are subject to an annual quota that has not changed since 1990. Indian nationals are an important element in the tech workforce in the United States. However, the demand for skilled workers in certain types of industries, such as tech jobs, has led to severe backlogs for certain countries. Under current immigration laws, a country is limited to seven percent of the employment-based green cards issued each year. As the demand for certain workers increases, the backlogs increase. 

The backlog has pitted lawmakers against lawmakers, immigrants against immigrants, and employers against employers, who all have an enormous stake in the resolution to this immigration problem.

Employers Want a Quick Resolution to the Problem

Employers who are concerned about losing talented and skilled employees want a quick resolution to the immigration backlog. The delay in addressing the green card backlog could result in new talent seeking permanent residency in competing countries. It could also result in skilled, highly-sought workers leaving to seek permanent residence in other countries that are offering immediate or faster paths to citizenship. 

The consequences of the green card backlog do not stop at losing valuable employees. The backlog of green card applicants could result in companies competing for talented workers moving jobs overseas as those workers move to other countries to obtain permanent residency or citizenship. If the employees cannot come to the United States, companies in the United States move the jobs to where the workers reside to employ workers with the skills they need. 

Congress Has Failed to Act

There are competing bills in Congress for resolving the green card backlog. Lawmakers cannot agree on how the matter should be resolved, even though many lawmakers believe the matter should be an easy fix since the matter is specific and has sufficient bipartisan support. Other lawmakers believe that any resolution must increase the number of green cards and treat immigrants from all countries fairly. 

The spouses and children of skilled workers are also an issue. They count toward the annual cap of 140,000 employment-based green cards issued each year in the United States. Some lawmakers are attempting to remove that provision so that spouses and minor children would not count toward the annual cap. Children of immigrants also age out, meaning that they face deportation to a country some of them have never lived or visited. 

Get Help from a Virginia Immigration Attorney

The consequences of the backlog for you and your family members could be catastrophic. Learn about your options and your children’s options for remaining in the United States from an experienced Virginia immigration attorney. Schedule a consult today with one of our experienced immigration attorneys for assistance.

Posted in: Immigration