Transitioning from H-1B to green card is fraught with obstacles, especially for non resident Indians. As a result, Indian immigrants working in the US are trapped in a regulatory catch-22. For the foreseeable future, acquiring an employment based green card will remain an illusion.
Indeed, the number of Indian nationals waiting for green cards recently ballooned to over 800,000. The culprit is the country cap which limits their annual green card allocation to 9,800.
The necessary reforms have been pending in the US Congress for years. Case in point is the “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” pending since 2007. However, it once again failed to become law in December 2020 before the close of the 116th US Congress.
Certainly, failure of the legislation is a huge setback for Indian nationals transitioning from H-1B to green card. Why should anyone expect the new US administration to change the status quo?
The US Citizenship Act 2021 promises a broad array of reforms to benefit Indian nationals. Nonetheless, it will ultimately fail because of political ineptitude, corporate exploitation and discrimination.
Illusive H-1B to Green Card Transition
Indefinite delays in the transition of H-1B to green card weaken the hand of Indian immigrants and leave them at the mercy of their US employers.
Most recently, Aman Kapoor, president of Immigration Voice emphatically petitioned US President Biden to stop processing new H-1B applications until the necessary reforms become law.
The president of Immigration Voice goes on to say that unless the needed reforms become law, the transition of H-1B to green card is an illusion used to keep Indian nationals locked up as “indentured servants”.
Indian Cultural Bias or Exploitation?
The illusion of equality is very alluring for those seeking merit based opportunity in the US. Ostensibly, the 7% country cap would ensure a multicultural selection of immigrant employees entering the country. But what if one cultural group becomes more employable than another?
The problem for Indian nationals is that their hard work and dedication has resulted in a very high proficiency in the field of technology. As a result, US technology firms are very eager to sponsor Indian nationals for non immigrant H-1B employment visas.
Apparently, Indian nationals are so good at performing high tech skills that US technology firms do not want to hire other nationalities, especially US citizens. Indeed, why aren’t African Americans, Hispanic immigrants or whites also highly sought after for high paying tech jobs? Unfortunately, their preference for hiring Indian nationals is considered racist by US citizens who’s skills are apparently uncompetitive.
The possible answers can be readily deduced but they are best left unspoken. Besides knowing the answers will not help alleviate the green card processing delay.
The Reality Facing Indian Immigrants
This insatiable demand for Indian high tech workers and the 7% country cap has created an enormous backlog for employment based green cards ~ if you are an Indian national that is ~ otherwise you go straight to the front of the line. This is despite the fact Indians comprise over 60% of the backlog and they have been waiting in line for many years.
Immigration experts agree that fresh applicants from India can expect to wait upwards of 80-90 years for their green cards to be issued.
The backlog creates many problems – including death – because many of them will die before their time comes. Indeed, without a green card, Indian nationals really are caught in a never ending cycle of indentured servitude.
Tough Choices: Indentured Servitude or Expulsion
In 2020, non resident Indians residing in the US showed an unusually strong interest in researching rental properties in Southern India. However, demand for high tech employment in the US (especially for Indian nationals) remained very strong throughout 2020. Indeed, faced with expiration of their H-1B visas and the vast processing backlog for green cards, Indians are beginning to seek alternatives.
Furthermore, the popular EB-5 investor visa was once an escape route for well off Indian nationals to buy a green card. However, the EB-5 program faces redundancy by June 30, 2021 if it is not reauthorized by Congress. As a result, the millions of dollars Indian nationals invested in regional centers is in limbo. Understandably, the chronic uncertainty and political headwinds makes EB-5 investors very nervous.
Clearly the writing is on the wall. As things stand, the choice is between indentured servitude or expulsion from the US.
US E-2 Visa is the Politically Safe Alternative
The soft power of the US remains unbearably strong for those born on the outside. What many Americans take for granted, the rest of the world must struggle to obtain.
Undoubtedly, despite the neglect for the green card program and disdain for skilled immigrants taking high paying US jobs, the allure of the US for those seeking the American Dream has not diminished.
However, Indian nationals seeking to live and work in the US indefinitely must have a sustainable long term solution. Wise Indians will invest in Grenada citizenship to obtain US E-2 visa eligibility.
Processing time is fast and efficient, the main applicant and their spouse could be living and working in the US within 3-4 months.
Protect your family, your wealth and your freedom with second citizenship. All applications are 100% confidential and there is no requirement to notify your country of origin.