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Pathways for Indian Immigrants to the USA

Over the past several decades, immigration to the USA from India has seen significant growth. Indian immigrants are vital contributors to the United States’ social, economic, and cultural fabric. These immigrants arrive through three primary pathways: employment-based immigration, family-sponsored immigration, and diversity visa programs. The USA continues to benefit from the exceptional talents and diversity that Indian immigrants bring. The need for further collaboration and openness in welcoming more Indian individuals is becoming increasingly evident for sustained growth and prosperity.

In 1965, Congress abolished national-origin quotas that limited immigration to primarily European nations. SInce then, Indians immigrants have come to the US through 3 main pathways, says the Council on Foreign Relations.

1️⃣✔ Temporary Work Visas (H-1B)

The first pathway for Indian immigrants to the USA is through temporary work visas such as H-1Bs. These are employer-sponsored and issued to highly skilled workers. Currently, Indian nationals receive the majority of those visas.

2️⃣👉 Temporary Student Visas

The second pathway for Indian immigrants to the USA is through temporary student visas. These bring Indian students to study at U.S. universities for undergraduate or graduate degrees. These student visas offer opportunities for academic and cultural exchange. They enrich both the students’ lives and the diverse academic landscape in the United States. In 2021-22, for example, students from India made up the second-largest coterie (199,182) of international students. The the largest coterie (290,086) came from China.

3️⃣📍From Visa to Green Card

The third pathway for immigration to the USA from India is through converting temporary visas into green cards. It allows recipients to stay in the country and possibly pursue a path to U.S. citizenship. This transition from temporary status to lawful permanent residency offers a chance for Indian immigrants to establish long-term roots in the United States. They can contribute to its social, economic, and cultural landscape.

The US & Research

Even more concerning, a recent report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy found that since 2010 the United States has been losing its competitive edge in basic science research. This loss of competitiveness is partly due to immigration issues. There is not enough talent coming from around the world to USA. The United States traditionally “benefited from a steady stream of talented young scientists” immigrating to the country. However, this supply is drying up. There is uncertainty about visas for foreign students and visiting scholars, especially from India, where delays are longer.

Information technology (IT) workers from India have also been the backbone of Silicon Valley. Many companies sponsor those workers for H-1B visas and green cards.

Finally, international students at U.S. universities not only boost science research (they make up 74 percent of electrical engineering students and 72 percent of computer and information science students), they also bring in billions of dollars in tuition, helping to defray costs for American students.   Universities are hoping for more Indian students, the second-largest contingent of international students. They can bring in tuition, which is declining now that Chinese students are coming to US less and less (due to espionage concerns).

The green card system is also massively backed up.

Currently, there are 1.4 million employment-based cases for permanent residency are winding their way through the system. This backlog is ten times the actual number of green cards issued. Two hundred thousand skilled Indian immigrants are likely to die before they can receive a green card. Ninety thousand children, mostly Indian, will “age out” of the system. That is, they will turn twenty-one and become ineligible to receive a green card through their parent. That would make them unauthorized immigrants if they continue to reside in the United States.

While the USA is busy with restricting immigrants from India, other countries like Canada and Western European nations like Germany are happily snapping up Indian talent. Canada, for example, has been attracting Indian students in droves. Canada issues many more visas than the United States and offering a more realistic pathway to permanent residence and citizenship. At the same time, illegal Indian immigration to the United States is increasing. Once insignificant, last year illegal Indian immigration increased by 109 percent.

The USA would gain greatly if Indian immigrants did not have to struggle with longer wait times than most other immigrant groups. We need more Indian talent in America and Congress needs to take notice.

Remember, at Shepelsky Law, we are here to guide and assist you throughout your immigration journey. Contact us today to explore your options and navigate the complex world of immigration law! 🌟🗽🌍