Green card process, it seems has drowned itself in the quagmire of endless waits and undefined procedures. Thousands of eligible workers are virtually stranded on the port of immigration. The process itself has become so complicated and with so many loop holes that one can do a PhD on the topic.
If there were ever terms like ‘Money making machine’ or ‘cash cow’, it has been put to use by US Customs and Immigration services. Thousands of dollars for EAD renewal, thousands of dollars in Green Card Attorney fees , H1B Renewal, Porting EB3 to EB2 and documentation and paperwork.
So what is this process and where does a person stand ?
I will provide a quick perspective in layman terms.
Priority Date: The date at which you applied for the first step of the process.
Current Date: The date that is being processed by USCIS as of any given day.
Visa Bulletin: A listing of Current Dates published by USCIS on their website.
The scope of this document is restricted to those who applied from India under EB3 or EB2 categories. Why? Because a 3-5 years wait is not alarming when a Green card process is considered. However, when the projections are anywhere between 13 to 17 years , it does raises concerns.
Current status: Both EB2 and EB3 categories get about 2800 Visa allocations each fiscal year. EB2 number grows to about 5000+ because of a process called Spillover. A spillover happens when there are not enough Visas applied in EB1 category. The remaining numbers from the quota bleeds over to EB2.
Based on these numbers and based on the backlog, an EB2 applicant is looking at 5 Years of Wait and an EB3 applicant is looking at 12 to 17 years (even 22 years) of wait. But these are purely mathematical calculations. Will things change in the future? May be?.
EB2 or EB3 ?
So what should one do?. First and foremost, go ahead and apply in any category suitable to your job role. EB2 or EB3. This will ensure an early priority date for you. Second, as soon as you finish 5 years of work experience in EB3, start looking for another job with the same role and duties. Even if it means no increase in salary. Apply for EB2 from the second company and then file for Date portability. Confused? In layman terms,you are applying in a faster category EB2 after five years and still holding your EB3 application date. It is similar to applying in EB2 on the date that you filed EB3. For the most part, this should make your application current and you will get greencard within a few months. There are thousands of people who have done it this way, are doing it and will do it the same way.
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Another option but less preferable is to wait until you get 5 years of cumulative work experience and file under EB2 Category. Although this technique has proven results faster than applying in EB3 right from the start(and staying in EB3 all the way), it is slower than the one mentioned above and adds another 3-4 years in your processing time thus makig it a total of 8 years.
How to find a lawyer?. You can either solicit advice from a recommended lawyer through your friend circle, corporate or you can avail the expert searches provided for these service in online market places such as ezdia.com
The applicants are now waiting for Sept 2010 bulletin. They have followed this ritual for a long time now. Here is how it goes.
Get up early morning.
Do some work.
Get bored by doing the same work for past 10 or so years.Looking for a change.
Go to job search site. Find matching jobs .
Realize that you cannot move or do not wish to move cause your GC is just around the corner.
Get frustrated. Go have a smoke.
Come back to desk and then google for ‘Visa Bulletin’. For some do an evaluation of their H1B Status.
Go look at the current dates and estimate your GC arrival time.
Go back to Google and search for forums with discussions on EB2 and EB3 Processing.
Get frustrated by someone complaining about the delay in the processing especially when the person has applied last year.
Close the computer.
Go to a coworker’s desk and complain about the non existent salary raise and GC processing time.
By the time they get their greencard, they would have spent all their energy and enthusiasm for a career progression & career change. Probably has one or two kids, a house and comfortable (not handsomely paid) in their own cocoon. They havent touched their resume in years and even if they did, they just reworded the same job description and duties to make it look better with a single company job experience. The arrival of green card does bring a few moments of happiness but the euphoria quickly vanishes after the realization that the actual use of Green Card has far long gone.
There was ‘slavery imposed‘ and there is ‘ Slavery by choice‘.
Indian applying to universities in USA, must have a look on .. GRE and Foreign Universities
The progression of Green card processing for the latest month and the visa bulletin prediction for the coming month are below
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