Window Closing on Green Card Applicants

Employment-based immigration applicants are up by 50 percent

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Concerns over the opportunity for employment-based immigration in the United States is growing strong.

For 12 months until Sept. 30 of this year, 147,581 people have submitted their application for I-140, an immigration petition for alien workers, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). That is a 50 percent rise compared to 98,895 from the previous 12 months. During the same period, the approval rating for I-140 applicants also soared by 31 percent from 99,477 to 13,761.

Those who have been approved for I-140 are then eligible to apply for a green card to earn their permanent residency in the U.S. via I-485.

A growing concern over the recent trend stems from the possibility that the rising number of I-140 applicants can lead to a stricter requirements to earn I-485 approval. It is likely that the increasing applications could even slow down the process of the USCIS granting green cards for working immigrants in the country.

Many immigration attorneys have already predicted that the window of opportunity for employment-based immigrants to earn their residency in the U.S. could start to close from April or May of next year.

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