Over the past several months, skilled foreign nationals have seen no improvement in their prospects for obtaining green cards and, in fact, wait times are likely to increase in employment-based immigration categories. The U.S. Department of State reports a wait time may be developing for prospective immigrants in the employment-based first preference (EB-1) category, which previously had no backlog. In another new development, skilled foreign nationals from countries other than China and India in the employment-based second preference (EB-2) will soon experience backlogs. And for at least the rest of Fiscal Year 2012, the U.S. Department of State is not accepting new green card applications for nationals of China and India in the EB-2 category.
An October 2011 analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy concluded wait times for employment-based green cards sponsored today can last 5 years or even decades, depending on the category and country of origin. The analysis found projected waits for Indians of 8 years or more in the EB-2 category and up to 70 years for Indians in the EB-3 (employment-based third preference) category if sponsored today for an employment-based green card, while a Chinese immigrant sponsored today in the EB-3 category could wait two decades.