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An Excess of Green Cards to go to Waste?

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Aug 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

Photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash

Do you remember that famous Oprah episode from 2004?

“You get a car and YOU get a car!” Well it seems that if it chose to, the U.S. government could have a similar situation of giveaways, but with employment-based green cards. 

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) currently has an excess of employment-based green cards - with 280,000 available this year to be exact. We're truly hoping that the government learned its lesson last year, when almost 100,000 green cards were wasted due to government inefficiency. 

USCIS has faced a slew of issues in the last few years, from extreme visa backlogs to office closures, but a staff vacancy rate of almost 20% has presented its own set of recent challenges. The lack of sufficient employees has meant that thousands of green card applications sit unprocessed, waiting for an approval that is months in the making, if it even comes. 

USCIS has until the end of its fiscal year - September 30, 2022 - to issue all of its available employment-based green cards. USCIS says it is committed to maximize its “use of all available visas by the end of the fiscal year” and we are hopeful that the Biden Administration's pressure on USCIS to reduce backlogs will result in that commitment coming true. 

Are You Waiting on the Outcome of a Filed Employment-Based Green Card Application?

If you filed an employment-based I-485 (green card) application, you should check out the Fiscal Year 2022 Employment-Based Adjustment of Status FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), which answers a lot of wonderings regarding the waiting period for approvals. 

A major piece of advice to keep in mind is that USCIS is strongly recommending that “If your underlying petition is approved and a visa is available to you, but you know that your previously filed Form I-485 does not have a valid Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record,” you should visit a civil surgeon and have a valid Form I-693 on hand when the request is sent to you. This is especially important if you recently received a notice that your application was transferred from a USCIS service center to a USCIS field office and you know your application does not have a valid Form I-693 medical examination.

Remember that you can always check the status of your immigration petition on the USCIS website by clicking here.

If you have questions about obtaining immigration help please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

About the Author

Hugo Valverde

Hugo's passion for immigration law stems from his own family's immigration experience. His father and mother came to the United States from Peru fleeing political persecution, and as he grew up, Hugo spent many summers in Peru. Hugo uses his experience growing up in an immigrant family and time a...


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