Indian H-1B visa holders campaign for green card

The U.S. issues a million green cards every year

Nearly 100 Indian H-1B visa holders and their dependents reached out to U.S lawmakers on Monday, pleading for clearance of the massive backlog of greed card petitions.

Permanent residency, or green card, is allocated based on a country-wise quota system in the U.S. Indians make up the largest intake for any country every year under temporary work permits.

Leaders of the Skilled Immigrants In America (SIIA), the body that organised the advocacy campaign, said that at the current pace of approvals, it could take as much as 70 years before the current backlog is cleared.

The U.S issues a million green cards every year, but only 1,40,000 are employment-based. India’s share is capped at 7% of it.

Plea to lawmakers

“Many of the lawmakers and their legislative aides are shocked by the facts of our situation, because they themselves do not know the granular details of the severe challenges that we face,” said Harshit Chatur, one of the leaders of the SIIA.

“(They have)… continued to contribute to the economy and society in every possible way from the day they arrived in this country… Unfortunately, they are also the same families who have become part of an underclass who live uncertain lives and are one job loss away from being forced to sell everything and get out of this country… even a basic dream of being considered as an equal in the society they live and contribute in is becoming an impossible, unattainable dream,” Anirban Ghose, President of SIIA.