Indian techie gets US Green Card after 9-year wait, slams H-1B system

An Indian techie got a US Green Card, which allows permanent residency, after 9 years of wait. He explained how the H-1B visa system was difficult and caused problems for skilled workers. The person deleted the post after the issue "blew up". A million Indians are stuck in the Green Card backlog.
Indian techie gets US Green Card after 9-year wait, slams H-1B system
Anjali Raj / Jaano junction

An Indian-origin techie took to X (formerly Twitter) to share his harrowing experience of obtaining a Green Card after living in the US for over nine years. He highlighted the drawbacks of the H-1B visa system, describing it as "incredibly restrictive". The Indian techie's case is among hundreds of thousands of highly skilled professionals from India who are facing extremely long wait times, potentially decades, to gain permanent residency in the United States.

The techie, who works with an internet giant, explained his Green Card ordeal in a long chain of posts after getting permanent residency status after a wait of 3,505 days.

"After 3505 days in this country [US], I'm finally a "permanent resident". I can travel without constantly having to worry about my visa stamp or my I-94 date or a million other things," the Indian techie wrote on X.

He has now deleted the thread and made his X account private after his post went viral and the issue "blew up".

Despite his long wait, he counted himself as a "fortunate" person. He said he was very fortunate as countless talented engineers and researchers have been working in the US for years without Green Cards.

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Indian techie gets US Green Card after 9-year wait, slams H-1B system

"I'm very fortunate. Countless talented engineers and researchers have been working here without green cards on "temporary" H1-B visas. The green card wait for highly skilled employees from India is decades long and there is no end in sight," he wrote on X.

In his X thread, which he has now deleted, the Indian-origin techie calls the H-1B visa system "restrictive" and explains why he calls it so.

"A H-1B visa is incredibly restrictive. You need a new visa stamp every few years from the US consulate outside the country. If you don't have one, you cannot enter the US. I have never been able to attend a single conference because of this,” he said.

He further listed usual situations that turned out to be problematic for people with H-1B visas.

"I have friends who couldn't travel to say goodbye to their loved ones after they died because they were on a H1-B visa and couldn't get a visa appointment. I cannot overstate how inhumane this is," he added.

Permanent residency in the US has remained a pipe dream for many Indians. To address the issue, multiple bills are being addressed in the Senate and Congress. However, immediate relief seems unlikely.

"There have been multiple bills in the Senate and Congress that attempt to address this, but it has remained a pipe dream. If America hopes to continue attracting the best talent in the world, it should first take a good look at how it treats the talent it already has," the Indian-origin techie wrote on X.

When the Indian techie broke the news that he got the green card, many X users asked him how he obtained permanent residency in just nine years, considering there is typically a decade-long wait.

"People have been asking me how I got it in 9 years if the wait is decades long. I applied under the EB1 category, which is a little bit faster. But that's beside the point. It's inhumane to keep people in a state of limbo for decades regardless of visa category," he said.

The right wing also trolled "asking why he left India".

"So many right-wing troll accounts asking why I left India. I left India for better education and employment opportunities. I love what I do, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat," wrote Indian techie on X.

More than a million Indians are stuck in a long queue for US green cards with many professionals waiting for over a decade. Data from the USCIS show over 1.2 million Indians waiting, with significant backlogs in EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 categories.

These long wait times can cause problems for both individuals and their families, and can also make it harder for the US to attract and keep talented workers, says the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) after analysing the USCIS data.

The NFAP analysed USCIS data and found 1,259,443 Indians in the top three employment-based immigration categories as of November 2, 2023.

Indians' longer waits mean they're more likely to have spouses and children, leading to an underestimation of dependents.

Without Congressional action, the backlog is projected to grow. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) estimated the backlog for Indians in these categories to reach 2,195,795 by FY 2030, taking 195 years to clear, reported Forbes.

Source: India Today

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