Did You Know? Facts about Immigrants in America

U.S. Immigration – Did you know that there are only 140,000 employment-based green cards available every year and that the per country cap results in high-skilled immigrants waiting for years, and sometimes decades, for a green card?

Indian Immigrants Waiting Period


Many high-skilled professionals come to the U.S. in H-1B (professional work visa) or F-1 (student visa) status.  After working or studying in the U.S., many employers want to hire these foreign workers on a long-term basis.

However, employers and foreign workers face an annual employment-based green card cap of 140,000 visas and per country limits.  This means that high-skilled workers, many of whom are already in the U.S. and are working under a nonimmigrant visa, have to wait several years to obtain a green card.

U.s. Department Of Homeland Security

USCIS photo courtesy of Big Stock

These limits result in long waits for individuals from countries like mainland China, India, and the Philippines which have a higher demand for these limited immigrant visas.  We have worked with many Filipino nurses, Indian IT professionals and Chinese students who have been clients for several years while waiting for their priority date to become available to apply for a green card.

“It would take potentially 70 years for an Indian national who applies today to receive an employment-based green card in the EB-3 preference.”

This 140,000 quota also includes the visas for the spouse and dependent children of the high-skilled worker which further reduces the actual number of visas that are allocated to the principal workers. These wait times can be crushing for employers, individuals, and their families, forcing people to live in uncertainty for many years.