Indian workers, including tech professionals, will now have to wait longer - up to eight years in certain cases — for a Green Card, with the US State Department's latest visa bulletin introducing a waiting period for Green Cards under the employment-based immigrant visa category. How does this impact Indian IT companies?
"In case of tech workers, those looking for legal permanent residency have to apply for the Green card 90 days prior to expiry of the H1B. Now, with the increase in waiting period, these people will have to continue or extend their old status or leave the country in case their existing visa expires," said Dr Arun C. Vakil, a US Visa and Immigration consultant from Mumbai.
However, according to India's IT industry association, Nasscom, the waiting period would have no impact on IT companies. "The tendency to go for a Green Card was strong among tech professionals in 1999-2000 when as many as 80-85 per cent of H1B holders would apply for a Green Card. But this proportion has come down to 20-25 per cent now. This is due to the large [amount] of job creation in India, improvement in infrastructure and higher savings back home. So they are returning to India anyway," the Nasscom Vice-President, Mr Sunil Mehta, said.