Me and my husband both did our advanced degrees from United States and paid our tuition fees ( approximately $30,000 - $35,000 ). Currently we both work as full time employees on H-1B visas and pay our taxes regularly. We have our green card petition filed under category EB2 India. The current priority date in processing is November 2004. So keeping the current processing date into account, we would be receiving our Green-Cards in the year 2024. Even after paying thousands of dollars in tuition fees and taxes just like the american citizens (or even more), we have to wait for 9-10 years to get a permanent resident status. Whereas other nationals can receive the same status within months. And till then just let go of all the golden oppurtunities that we could have been achieving if we were american citizens or green card holders ?
Most of us are aware that many big companies do not sponsor work visas and instead hire green card holders or citizens. At this point we want to move forward in professional as well as personal lives but we are not able to do so because of our pending GreenCard process. This is not a new case for most of advanced degree H-1B workers. Although they spend so much money and legally live in this country, their dependents are not even allowed to work ? Dependents who are working professionals and highly educated. Families like us where both husband and wife are working, find so hard to take up new oppurtunities. Most times its next to impossible to find a good paying job and an employer who can sponsor a work visa in the same city. Families either have to stay apart or compromise on a professional level.
Over the past 5 years I have seen so many of my friends who just give up hopes on the current visa process and head back to their home countries or migrate to other countires. Who wants to wait for 9-10 years for something they can achieve easily in other countries, Countries who value the contributions of their high skilled immigrants.
On the other hand people who file for family based Green Cards, claim refugees or file employment based greencards from countries other than India and China can get their permanent immigrant status within months but people who study, research, work hard, pay taxes, spend money and work for your companies are being considered as the last priority ?
I request the government to reform the current system. So that people like us who work hard day and night and are contributing towards America's improving economy can live a peaceful life and help the American economy grow even better. I am not asking the government to be partial and favor the people who do not deserve it. But atleast there can be measures taken to filter the candidates in a better way. Like:
1. A good Employer Verification system for companies who file H-1Bs for their employees.
2. Prioritizing the Credibility of the Universities who provide Advanced Degrees to international students.
3. Strict rules against small staffing/consulting companies who are doing Visa fraud and misleading the goverment as well as their client by underpaying their employees.
4. Providing employment authorization to H-1B dependents.
5. Making the Green Card process faster for people who qualify ( work in good companies, hold advanced degree from good universities ) etc.
I am really looking forward for the government to take right steps and work towards fixing the broken Legal Immigration System.