Wait for green card gets longer

Via The Times of India

DELHI: If the H1B cap wasn’t tough enough to deal with, here’s
another piece of bad news for those dreaming the American dream. The wait for a
green card is only growing longer.

A study conducted by the
National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) estimates that the current wait
in the skilled workers and professional category exceeds five years.

The problem, it states, will
go from bad to worse if Congress doesn’t increase the number of
employment-based immigrant visas. “The problem has got worse in the last few

Now, it takes anywhere
between six to twelve years to get a green card,” says Aman Kapoor, a computer
programmer who moved to the US in 1997.

By December last year, when
Congress killed a budget amendment that would have paved the road for
highlyskilled professionals like him, Aman’s patience had worn thin.

An online message board soon
transformed into Immigration Voice, a non-profit organisation determined to push
for immigration reform. Says co-founder Aman, “We decided to make a collective

Six months later,
Immigration Voice boasts of 5,000 members and has hired high-profile lobbying
firm Quinn Gillespie to make its voice heard on Capitol Hill.

the immigration debate in the US centred around illegal aliens, more than
half-a-million high skilled immigrants a large percentage from India have seen
their applications disappear into a green card black hole.

According to the US department
of labour, there are 3.5 lakh applications pending in the first stage, some
dating back to 1999.

Meanwhile, the applicant
can’t switch jobs, relocate, get a promotion or even a pay hike because
that would mean applying fresh. Swati and Aradhana Srivastava, both software
engineers who aspire to become filmmakers, are at the end of their tether.

“Our aspirations have changed:
we now want to become filmmakers but can’t because of one document. The US
is supposed to be the land of dreams but our dreams are slowly dying here,” says
28-year-old Swati.

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