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Employment immigration can be a long waiting game

It can feel like a lot of time passes between submitting a green card application and receiving a decision. For a person pursuing employment immigration from one of two countries, that feeling can be very accurate, especially when it takes years before he or she can even apply for a green card. Although lawmakers recently tried to change the system that puts nationals of certain countries at a disadvantage, they were unable to do so.

Every year, there are approximately 675,000 green cards are available to foreign nationals not already living in the United States. Of those, only 140,000 are set aside for immigrants who are seeking employment in the U.S. Many of the employers in Louisiana and elsewhere who are hiring foreign workers are looking for high-skilled immigrants, particularly those who can work in the tech industry. However, some of the people who are most well-suited for these positions are facing enormous wait times.

For example, there are people in India who have been waiting for this opportunity since April 2010, and were not eligible to even apply for a green card until Sept. 2019. For some people in China, the wait started back in June 2008. This is because the citizens of any given country can only make up 7% of both family and employment-based green cards, and both of these countries have very large populations.

A recent bill would have allowed the Indian and Chinese nationals who have been waiting years for the opportunity to apply to move up to the front of the line. Although other countries would then have to deal with longer weight times, the process would have probably evened out after several years. The bill would have also allowed for family-based green cards to go to 15% of any country instead of only 7%. The percentage cap would have been eliminated for employment green cards.

There is no denying that working through the U.S. immigration system is a slow and tedious process. It can feel very frustrating to have to wait months or even years for an employment immigration opportunity. People who are hoping to live and work in Louisiana should not give up hope. Instead, a person may want to consider speaking with an experienced attorney about any of his or her concerns.

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