Only 10% Indians who applied for Green Card got it in 2017

Only 10% Indians who applied for Green Card got it in 2017

Courtesy : Agencies21/10/2018 09:01

As of April 2018, there were 6,32,219 Indian immigrants and their spouses and minor children waiting for Green Cards. India has the maximum number of people waiting in line.

 New Delhi: Of the nearly six lakh Indians in the US who have applied for Green Card only 10.06 per cent (60,394) received the most sought-after legal permanent residency certificate last year, according to latest official figures.

Under the current regulation, skilled immigrants from India need to wait anywhere between 25-92 years for a Green Card due to per-country limits, according to, a website founded by members of the Indian diaspora living in the United States that focuses on immigration issues.

Having a Green Card allows a person to live and work permanently in the US. Indian-Americans, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US mainly on the H-1B work visas are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a 7 per cent per country quota on allotment of Green cards or permanent legal residency.

There were 6,32,219 Indian immigrants in the US and their spouses and minor children waiting for Green Cards, as of April 2018.

Of the 60,394 Indians who received Green Cards in 2017, the maximum 23,569 were issued to the employment-based preferences like those on the H-1B visas.

As many as 20,549 Indians were issued Green Cards in the capacity of them being immediate relatives (spouses, children and parents) of US citizens, while 14,962 Indians were issued Green Cards under family-sponsored categories like brothers and sisters.


The latest annual figures released on October 2 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), however, reveal that the number of Indians getting Green Cards has dropped - albeit marginally - than the previous two years.

In 2015, as many as 64,116 Indians were issued legal permanent residency, and the next year, the figure was 64,687. Among the employment-based preferences -- which is the route followed by the H-1B visa holders -- 137,855 Green Cards were issued.

The DHS said around half of its Green Cards were issued to the immediate relatives of US citizens - spouses (2,92,909), children (74,989) and parents (1,48,610).

In all, 1,127,167 million foreigners received Green Cards, which is a step below citizenship, in the year 2017, the figures revealed. The previous year 1,183,505 foreigners received Green Cards in 2016 and 1,051,031 in 2015.

People from Asia (424,743) and North America (413,650) account for the maximum number of Green Card recipients in 2017.

Country-wise figures reveal that China topped the list with 71,565 Green Cards, followed by Cuba (65,028) and India (60,394).

However, India is different from other countries as it has the maximum number of people waiting in line.

Because of the Congressional mandated country quota, Indians, according to Cato Institute -- a libertarian think tank -- would have to wait for decades and in some cases as much as 151 years to get a Green Card.

In 2017, as many as 795 Indians who sought asylum or refugee status were issued Green Cards. Last year, 40 Indians were issued Green Cards under diversity visa category and 479 Indians were issued Green Cards under other categories, according to DHS annual report.

The figures also reveal that in 2017, Americans adopted 222 Indian kids, of which 176 were females and 46 males. Eight of these were of less than year old, 170 between one and four years, while 44 were over five years of age at the time of adoption.  

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