A record 150,000 excess green cards to be available in 2022

Prospect of over 290,000 employment-based green cards becoming available brings a ray of hope to Indians stuck in decades long lines

While the return of Covid variants around the globe continues to dampen the spirits and derail travel plans, here is some immigration news that may revive the spirits of green card hopefuls in America.

A record 150,000 excess green cards are expected to be made available in fiscal year 2022 as opposed to the 122,000 in FY 2021. This would make available over 290,000 employment-based green cards.

The announcement can be seen as a ray of hope for many living in the employment based visa category in the US, a vast majority of whom are Indians.

It may be noted that in fiscal year 2021, the number of excess green cards was approximately 122,000. This number allowed for more than 262,000 employment-based green cards to be available.

Read: Everything you need to know about unused Green Cards (October 5, 2021)

When the news first came about excess employment based green cards to be made available due to a spill over, thousands of those waiting in decades long green card line were hopeful that tit may be able to bridge the gap and give them some respite.

However, slow processing by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and wastage of about 80,000 green cards seemed like a blow to the hopes of many who have applied for permanent residency in the US.

As the numbers this year seem to be more promising, there is bound to be some excitement among the green card back log community.

Seattle based, Arun K Singh who is awaiting his green card says, “while it does seem significant, especially for those who have current or nearing priority dates, I am not sure if it will actually go on to bridge the wide chasm that is created due to years of systemic neglect.”

“I am still keeping my options open and wouldn’t mind migrating to another immigration friendly country,” he says.

For those who may be wondering about the spill over, each year the USCIS makes a total of 140,000 green cards available in the employment based category.

Read: U.S Announces Record Number Of Green Cards Available In 2022 (November 14, 2021)

However, no single country is allowed more than 7% of the total number. But if the green cards made available in other categories such as family based green cards are not used up to its capacity, then the excess can be used in the employment-based category.

The last fiscal year and the coming one can be called exceptional in terms of immigration as a lot of family based green cards were left unutilized mainly because of the pandemic that forced consulates to shut across the world.

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