Back to Top skip to main content
Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm
Menu
Jun 11, 2018

Shocking Report: India EB-2 Backlog Calculated to be 151 Years

Matthew Galati

On June 8, author David Bier of the Cato Institute published a sobering analysis of the employment-based Green Card backlogs for India-born beneficiaries:

As of April 20, 2018, there were 632,219 Indian immigrants and their spouses and minor children waiting for green cards. The shortest wait is for [EB-1 visas]. The[se] immigrants from India will have to wait “only” six years. EB-3 immigrants—those with bachelor’s degrees—will have to wait about 17 years. The biggest backlog is for EB-2 workers who have advanced degrees. At current rates of visa issuances, they will have to wait 151 years for a green card. Obviously, unless the law changes, they will have died or left by that point.

To put this in perspective, the Republic of India gained its independence from the United Kingdom only 71 years ago. EB-2 applicants filing today would have to wait over twice as long as the entire history of Indian independence!

Because current immigration policy counts spouses and children towards preference category allocation, the report notes that over 430,000 India-chargeable applicants are waiting for their EB-2 priority dates to become current.  Based on worldwide demand and per country caps, only 13% of all available EB-2 visas were issued to Indians in 2017. The report notes that EB-2 demand this year is higher, however, throttling advancement in the “Green Card queue” even more.

Truth be told, no one knows exactly how long wait times will be. Bier himself notes a few caveats with his analysis, such that Indian EB-2 applicants may soon downgrade to EB-3 (the opposite of what was happening a few years ago), and many may give up on U.S. immigration. Indeed, many applicants might consider immigrating elsewhere, such as to Canada; a “substitution effect” of sorts. Some of the petitions may also be duplicates.

Additional caveats not mentioned in the article that would shorten the wait are that many children will “age out” and thus not be eligible to immigrate as derivatives of their parents, and certain beneficiaries may marry individuals born elsewhere and thus avail themselves of cross-chargeability. What is abundantly clear, however, is that the wait times for Indian-born applicants in the EB-2 and EB-3 categories are prohibitively long to be practical.

Without significant changes in the law or policy, perhaps the only solutions are immigrating through EB-1 (for the few who have the work histories or accolades to qualify) or EB-5 (for those who have the capital to invest). Regarding the latter, join us on June 19 for an informative webinar regarding EB-5 for Indian investors. We also invite you to contact us today with your inquiries regarding immigration to the U.S. or Canada.

Related Team

Recent Blogs

Mar 20, 2019

The Israeli E-2 Visa Is Expected to Go Live on May 1, 2019

We have tracked the roll-out of the Israeli E-2 visa for several years. Implementation may finally take effect in just six weeks’ time, according to the Israeli office of Population and Immigration Authority (PIBA). Learn more in this blog.

Feb 28, 2019

Matthew Galati Quoted in Bloomberg Law Article EB-5 Regulations at OMB

On Feb. 25, 2019, Matthew Galati, who leads Green and Spiegels U.S. Investors and Entrepreneurs Division, was quoted in “Immigrant Investor Visa to See Regulatory Changes Soon,” printed by Bloomberg ​Law. Read the full article here.

Feb 25, 2019

New EB-5 Regulations Expected Soon as USCIS Finalizes Rule and Sends Text to OMB

For over two years, we’ve extensively covered USCIS’ proposed EB-5 Modernization Rule. On Friday, February 22, USCIS formally completed its revisions to the proposed rule via the notice and comment process, sending its draft of the Final Rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). There is no published timetable for OMB’s assessment and publishing of the Final Rule into the Federal Register. Learn more in this blog.