About 100K green cards are at risk of going to waste this year

Washington DC: About one lakh employment-based green cards are at the risk of being wasted in less than two months, causing resentment among Indian IT professionals whose wait for legal permanent residency now runs into decades.

A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently in the US.

This year's quota for employment-based immigrants is 261,500, far higher than the usual 140,000, Indian professional Sandeep Pawar said.

Unfortunately, under the law, if these visas aren't issued by September 30, they are lost forever, he said. The US federal government runs on an October 1 to September 30 fiscal year.

The current pace of processing by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suggests they will waste more than 100,000 green cards, a fact recently confirmed by the Department of State officials in-charge of determining visa usage, he said.

If the USCIS or the Biden administration doesn't take any steps, the extra 100,000 green cards that are available this year will be wasted, Pawar rued.

The White House did not comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, a group of 125 Indian and Chinese nationals living in the US filed a lawsuit to prevent the administration from wasting the green cards.

There are hundreds of thousands of gainfully employed legal immigrants in the US who would benefit from these green cards. Many of them have been waiting for a decade or more to adjust to permanent resident status but have been unable to do so due to a lack of available visa numbers, he said.

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