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The Problem of Green Cards for Skilled Workers

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015

The issue of immigrants is a sensitive one in the US, especially in Texas. This is mostly because thousands of illegal immigrants from Mexico cross the border through that state. The law enforcement agencies in Texas are under a lot of pressure to keep down the number of illegal immigrants. This may be the reason why a Texas judge refused to lift the injunction on the deportation of illegal aliens as specified in an executive action.

However, that is hardly the case for skilled foreign workers that are working legally in the US. They hold an H-1 B Visa, which allows them to work in the US as long as they stay with their sponsoring employer. Foreigners on a working visa can apply for permanent resident status, popularly known as a green card, while they are in the US. While they are waiting to get it, they cannot change employers, change job titles, or even ask for a raise.

That would be fine except for one problem: the long wait for the green card. The typical green card applicant can wait 7 to 10 years, and for some it is even more. There is a huge backlog of pending green card applications, partly because the US has a strict policy of granting it for only 7% of applicants from any one country per year. With more than a million people waiting for one at any given time, it is easy to see why it would take years. According to the State Department Bulletin, highly skilled workers that applied for a green card prior to January 8, 2004 will have a good chance of getting their green card by April 15, 2015. There are no guarantees, though, since only 7% of applicants from one country will be given one this year.

According to the website of the immigration lawyers of the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, this situation is not likely to change in the near future unless legislation removing the 7% cap passes the Senate. In the meantime, it is important for those who are planning to apply for an employment-based or family-based green card to do it right from the start. Contact and experienced immigration lawyers to help you get it done right.

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