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I’ve been trying to think of a list of the top 10 biggest issues that legal immigrants face today. There are hundreds of applications and each and every one of us has a different story. But many of us share the same kinds of worries at some point or the other. I am sure each of us that’s affected by a USCIS related issue thinks about that more than anything else, but

I think it will be good to keep a list of the top 10 problems that immigrants face today, based on the number of people in that situation and how gravely the problem affects them. For instance, spouses of green card holders abroad having to wait for years before they can live with their partners is ridiculous. Regardless of the number of people in that problem, that is a #1 issue in my opinion, before everything else.

I am starting with a few that come to mind. Please reply and share your thoughts on this issue. I will update accordingly to maintain a list of the top 10 issues to the best of my understanding.

14. Students on F1 visa cannot work on jobs that are not directly related to their course-work as part of their practical training or take up jobs outside of the university campus.

13. Students that come to the country on an F1 visa are expected to lie to the consulate that their intention is to go back to their home countries after their eduction and practical training is complete.

12. International travel is not allowed during several stages of the permanent residency process due to pending petitions, Etc.

11. All USCIS work involves too much paperwork. USCIS often loses paperwork or they are lost in the mail. Applicants are not sufficiently kept in the loop about where their application stands.

10. Why does the labor process ask companies to certify that no US worker is available for a specific position? That’s unreasonable as well. Companies should have the freedom to hire who they want, based on their need, as long as they do it lawfully.

9. Very few opportunities or rights for immigrants to be self-employed or start their own businesses. America needs creative innovative people and this limitation does no good to anyone.

8. Green card applicants that do make it through the first two stages of the process, can now change jobs, but the job has to be same or similar to the job at their original green card petitioning employer. This limits any opportunity for progress or change in career-related goals during the entire green card process and potentially, even afterward.

7. Green card applicants cannot change jobs unless they have an approved I-140 petition. Between the time that the process is started to the approved I-140 takes about 3 years. During that time, they are unable to switch jobs no matter what, unless they are willing to put their permanent residency petition in jeopardy.

6. Predominantly diversity based green card visa number allocation process instead of basing it on MERIT. if you are from india, China or Mexico, good luck trying to get your green card.

5. H1-B Fraud. Consulting companies and head-hunting organizations using up the H1-B quota fraudulently making the system ineffective.

4. H1-B System – Gap between application process (Feb-March) and job start date (Oct 1). So what are the candidates expected to do in the meantime? It’s obvious that they are applying for H1-B’s without real job offers. Companies cannot wait 6 months for a candidate to join, period.

3. H4 visa holders (dependents of H1-B visa holders) have NO work authorization. The law expects smart, talented individuals to sit at home and do nothing for years and make no contribution to the economy at a time when the economy needs them and they need the money.

2. 5-10 year wait time for approval of green card applications, especially if you happen to be from India, China. Mexico, Canada or Philippines.

1. Spouses of green card applicants cannot live with their partners until their own green cards are approved, which, as stated above, can take 3-10 years.

I am sure I am missing many and many of the above can be refined. Please share your thoughts and help make this list current and accurate.

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