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Over 60,000 unused Green Cards for workers

Law platform JD Supra reports that over 60,000 employment-based Green Cards went unused last fiscal year. US immigration officials believe the reasons for the waste of the coveted US immigrant visas are within their own ranks and the backlog caused by the Corona pandemic.

American employers who want to bring foreign professionals to the US via a workplace Green Card cannot carry over permission from one tax year to the next, unlike sponsors of family-based Green Cards.

According to legal news platform JD Supra, this rule results in such short deadlines that a great deal of avoidable damage is done to the economy each year. The unused visa quotas lead to unfilled positions at US companies and slow down American businesses.

Action plan for better labor migration

To prevent the expiration of much-needed immigrant visas for skilled workers in the future, the USCIS developed a plan of action that is expected to bear fruit before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, 2022.

The USCIS’ measures include:

  • A priority processing and adjudication of specific applications at service centers and field offices
  • The waiver of visa interviews based on a risk assessment
  • Better cooperation with the U.S. Department of State to allow for more extended deadlines for submission and adjudication of Green Card filings and "Adjustment of Status" applications
  • The new "Dates for Filing" status displayed in the Visa Bulletin
  • Allowing overtime and hiring of additional staff in the U.S. immigration offices
  • The reassignment of specific duties to other offices
  • Eliminating the backlog for "biometrics" appointments (to submit fingerprints and passport photos) and a new process for reusing biometric data
  • The implementation of a new process and a dedicated mailing address for "Adjustment of Status" applications
  • The adjustment of the immigration process (e.g., advancing the medical examination and the simultaneous filing of multiple forms)

The U.S. Immigration Service's recent announcement suggests that the measures are progressing well and will prevent the expiration of as many employment-based Green Cards in the current fiscal year.

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