Early AugustBeth Galetti, SVP of Human Resources at Amazon, wrote a blog post calling on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expedite the processing of employment-based green cards.
Of course, the plea was selfish — Amazon topped the list of companies applying for green cards in 2019, according to U.S. Department of Labor data, with 1,500 applications. The Office of Civil and Immigration Services (USCIS) has failed to review tens of thousands of applications before the Sept. 30 deadline.
Green cards are very popular. Unlike temporary work visas (such as H-1B), workers are free to change jobs without losing their status of residence. In response to demand (and political pressure), Congress allocated him 262,000 in 2021 and 281,000 employment-based green cards in 2022 (the normal cap is 140,000). It greatly shortens the largely manual and paper-based process.
US embassies and consulates were temporarily closed, creating long lines to collect fingerprints and photographs. The country-by-country annual cap hasn’t solved the problem: the limit put some 875,000 approved green card petitions on a waiting list in 2021, according to the Cato Institute.
This year, the USCIS claimed to have taken steps to expedite its ruling, telling Bloomberg Law Firm in July that it would shift staff resources to prioritize green card processing and waive the interview requirement “at risk.” He said that he adopted a “based approach”. However, it is unclear whether this will be enough to prevent tens of thousands of green cards from going unused. As of July 31, USCIS reported that approximately 210,000 petitions had been ruled and more than 70,000 had not been processed.