The processing time for employer-sponsored US green cards has surpassed the three-year mark in 2022. However, paying $2,500 might shorten the delay by at least seven months, reducing it to two years and five months.
“Paying a $2,500 fee could reduce the wait time to “just” 2 years and five months.” Since 2016, the government has added about 16 months to the average green card process, with more than a year added in 2021 and 2022 alone,” said David J Bier, Cato Institute’s associate director of immigration research.
Employers can pay a $2,500 premium instead of the $700 usual processing price to receive a response in 15 days. The standard processing period in 2016 was shortened from 1.9 to 1.6 years if the client paid a $2,500 premium.
Bier explained that these processing delays are in addition to waiting for a US Green card cap slot to become available under the annual restrictions (which can be many years).
Employer-sponsored immigrants must undergo six steps, including a prefiling stage in which the applicant and employer must supply paperwork proving their eligibility for a green card. Following that, the Department of Labor evaluates current earnings, skill level, and area code. In the case of wage determination, the waiting time has tripled to 182 days in 2022, up from 76 days in 2016.
According to Bier, the process is causing significant backlogs in the employer-sponsored immigration system. “Once again, these processing backlogs are on top of the backlog of workers waiting for a cap place to open up,” he explained.
Furthermore, according to Bier, this might impact America’s competitiveness in the global talent war because other countries provide green cards in weeks or months rather than years.