Siddharth Tak/Zee Research Group
Despite perceived improvement in relations between the two countries, immigration from India to the US has not got any better.
For the second time in a row, India figures at third place among 12 countries with the highest number of waiting list registrants for visa in FY 2013. In contrast, the waiting level percentage for Pakistan and Bangladesh is much lower. China too is in a more favourable position than India in this regard.
The waiting period data furnished by the US government showed that these 12 countries together represented 77 per cent of the total waiting list registrants for entry to US. This list includes all countries with at least 60,000 persons on the waiting list.
Indian applicants’ waiting list percentage actually increased to 7.54 per cent in FY13 (2012-13) from 7.43 per cent in FY12. The applicants’ waiting list in China and Bangladesh accounts for 5.4 per cent and 3.67 per cent respectively. The waiting list level for Pakistan was the lowest in the pack at 2.67 per cent.
Of the total about 44 lakh million immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limit, about 3.32 lakh are from India. India has been ranked after Mexico with (13.16 lakh) and Philippines (4.62 lakh) amongst the waiting list registrants in FY13.
India is followed by Vietnam (2.67 lakh), China (2.4 lakh), Dominican Republic (1.69 lakh), Bangladesh (1.61 lakh), Pakistan (1.15 lakh), Haiti (1.06 lakh), Cuba (0.87 lakh), El Salvador (0.77 lakh) and Jamaica (0.61 lakh).
While, overall in the family-sponsored waiting list registrants, India ranks third with a total of about three lakh applicants. Mexico at 13 lakh and Philippines at 4.2 lakh occupy the first and second slot respectively. Moreover, India is followed by Vietnam and China in the category.
In the employment-based immigrant waiting list category by country preferences for FY13, Philippines is at the top with a total of 38,696 applicants. India follows with 26, 057 while China has 13,716 applicants waiting for immigration.
The US government says it has reformed the immigration format denying visas to crime members, creating directories of crime syndicates from different countries, implementing the US-VISIT exit requirement system, installing biometric exit requirements at all airports and seaports. Furthermore, the government there has created a biometric system for land borders to ensure that temporary workers are registered and leave the country before the visa expires. It has also increased fines for hiring illegal workers, increased investigation of employers who hire illegal workers and developed a web-based learning tool meant to increase the English language skills.