87% Of Indians Received US Green Card In 2019; Indians Grabbed 50% Of All Employer Green Cards
As per the data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Indian nationals received almost half the employer-sponsored green cards issued by the US in fiscal 2019.
Also, the number of applicants whose files have been kept pending has increased sharply.
How Did This Happen?
According got the data, the US approved green cards to 56,608 of the 64,906 Indians who had applied for permanent residency during its reporting year through September 2019.
Although 1,352 applications were rejected, another 6,946 cases remained undecided as of September end.
Also, the number of applications from Indians was equivalent to the annual quota of H-1B visas given by the US for those with Bachelor degrees.
Total 1,48,415 applications received by the agency for an employer-sponsored green cards during the year.
Apart from Indians, Chinese has also applied with 20,481 applications. So in total, US issued 1,15,458 green cards during the period.
Why Higher Number Of Pending Cases?
While there is no explanation provided by the USCIS on the high number of pending cases, which rose sharply from 239 in the case of Indians in the previous year.
The managing attorney at immigration law firm Immigration.com, Rajiv S Khanna said “In lawsuits, we have filed, we have alleged that we see a drastic rate in slowdown in the rate of adjudication, which could be indicative of a concerned policy to slow down applications creating an invisible wall against legal immigration,”.
Basically, the I-140 immigrant petition for alien worker is submitted by an employer to get permanent residency for the applicant.
Normally, this is done in cases when the worker is either considered to have extraordinary skills/talent or if there are no qualified workers for that position in the US.
Hence it is different from green cards received under other categories where the beneficiary files the application himself.
Which Company Has Filed Most Of These Applications?
According to the data, in the past few years, Indians have been receiving almost half the employer-sponsored green cards barring fiscal 2018, when their share dropped to about 45%.
The USCIS data for the past decade shows that the number of employer-sponsored green cards has risen significantly from 57,040 applications in 2009.
Also within this time period, the number of Indian applicants has increased from 15,060 in 2009 to 64,906 in fiscal 2019.
Citing the trend in the last few years, American tech companies like Amazon, Apple and Google have emerged the biggest beneficiaries of this programme, sponsoring green cards for their employees in large numbers.
Also, eight out of the top 10 companies that applied for green cards for their employees in fiscal 2019 were US firms, as per data released by the US labor department.
The other top-10 companies list included Intel, Facebook, Microsoft, Cisco and Deloitte, besides Indian firms Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys, all with more than 1,000 applications each.
Why Would This Happen?
The main reason for companies resorting to this route is to be able to hold on to high-skilled people, who typically enter the US on an H-1B visa for a period of three years, which can be further be extended by another three years.
Although, in the last few years, there has been a high number of denials for visa extensions, forcing workers to leave the country.
While sponsoring an employee’s green card ensures that the worker can remain in the US at least till the case is processed.
So the number of Indian applicants had jumped from 47,705 in 2014 to 70,013 in 2015 but has since come down.