Are you an Indian waiting for green card? US extends work permit validity that could help

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OCTOBER 14, 2023

The United States has extended the work permit validity that will offer employment authorisation cards to specific non-immigrant categories, including Indian nationals waiting for green cards, for a duration of five years. This move is set to have a positive impact on a large number of Indians currently residing in the country.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in a statement said, “We are updating guidance in the Policy Manual to increase the maximum validity period to 5 years for initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for certain noncitizens who are employment authorized incident to status or circumstance, including those admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, and granted asylum, as well as recipients of withholding of removal.”

“We are also increasing the maximum validity period to 5 years for initial and renewal EADs for certain noncitizens who must apply for employment authorization, including applicants for asylum or withholding of removal, adjustment of status under INA 245, and suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal,” it added.

Reducing processing time

This extension of the maximum EAD validity period to five years is aimed at significantly reducing the number of new Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, that the USCIS receives for renewal EADs in the coming years.

This, in turn, will contribute to their ongoing efforts to decrease processing times and address backlogs.

It’s essential to note that the maintenance of employment authorisation for non-citizens will continue to depend on their underlying status, circumstances, and the specific EAD filing category.

Green Card waitlist situation

According to a recent study, there are more than 1.05 million Indians are in the queue for an employment-based Green Card, and regrettably, 400,000 of them might not receive this legal document of permanent residency in the US during their lifetime.

The Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, is issued to immigrants in the US as proof of their permanent residency privilege.

The per-country caps refer to numerical limits on green card issuance to individuals from specific countries.

This year, the backlog of employment-based Green Cards has reached a new high of 1.8 million cases, as reported by David J. Bier of the Cato Institute, a US libertarian think tank, reports said.

Approximately 1.1 million of the 1.8 million cases in the backlog are from India (constituting 63 per cent), with an additional nearly 250,000 coming from China (representing 14 per cent).


Courtesy: WION / PTI