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Indian-American leader seeks end to green card limit

Indian-American community leader urges US lawmakers to remove the 7 per cent country limit on green cards

A famous Indian-American community leader/people group from Silicon Valley has asked US lawmakers to remove the prevailing/overarching seven percent cap on green cards, observing that the country-specific limit on the most sought-after residency document has created extensive backlogs.

A Green Card is a document that is granted to immigrants as proof that they have been authorized to permanently reside in the United States.

Ajay Jain Bhutoria, an entrepreneur and community leader, asked why there was a cap on the Green Card if not on an H-1 visa when he spoke at the US-India summit on Wednesday at the US Capitol.

If there were no limits set by a country on the number of H-1 visas that can be granted to support businesses, economy, and companies, then In his capacity as Co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus, Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna organized the summit, which Bhutoria addressed.

“Why should we have a country cap limit on the issuance of green cards?” Bhutoria asked.

The per-country covers are mathematical cutoff points on the issuance of green cards to people from specific nations.

green card limit

Immigration law provides for approximately 140,000 employment-based green cards to be issued each year.

However, individuals from a single nation can only receive 7% of those green cards annually.


A backlog develops when the number of people being sponsored from a single country is greater than 7% of the annual total that is available, and the additional approved petitions are not taken into consideration until, a visa becomes available and their petition falls within the initial 7% per-country cap.


He stated that the caps specific to certain countries have resulted in significant backlogs, particularly affecting individuals from India and China in employment-based categories, who are forced to wait much longer than usual to receive their green cards solely because of their country of origin.

It is our estimation that the backlogs for employment-based green cards currently affect more than 880,000 people, which includes dependent spouses and children.

For certain categories, individuals who initiated the application process back in 2012 are only now able to officially file, which means they may have waited for over a decade to reunite with their families despite meeting all the necessary qualifications. “If there are no changes made to the current law, these wait times are projected to last for as long as 50 years,” warned Bhutoria.

During a comprehensive presentation, Bhutoria provided data indicating that approximately 180,000 to 190,000 students from India come to the United States each year on average.

Request to Remove 7% Country Limit on Green Cards for Indians

Indian-American leader seeks end to green card limit

Every year, 85,000 H-1B work visas are issued, with approximately 60% of those visas distributed via lottery to tech workers from India, amounting to 51,000-60,000 visas.

The number of employment-based green cards issued to people from India is roughly approximately 7,000-8,000 per year due to the 7 % country cap limit.

Since dependents of primary applicants make up these 7,000-8,000, approximately 2,000 Individual H-1B applicants receive Indian citizens’ green cards annually.

According to Bhutoria, out of the 180,000 to 190,000 Indian students who come to the United States to study, around 50,000 to 60,000 obtain H-1B visas, and only approximately 2,000 are granted green cards each year due to the country’s cap limit of seven percent. This leaves the majority of applicants with an uncertain future.

“So the request is to remove the seven per cent country limit,” Bhutoria said.



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