An expat’s life in America undergoes so many unpredictabilities and a phase of un-settlement. The skilled workers from India and rest of the world spend years in the Green Card wait. Is it really worth it?
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“An Indian’s American Dream which can either Boom or Burst”
We can define a couple of categories wherein we can distribute our Indian friends living in America. Some have already become citizens of this great nation, some are in the process of becoming the citizens, some have migrated to US just because their entire clan has migrated and they don’t see any reasons to stay in India any longer, some are about to receive their Green Cards, some are still waiting for their Green cards to be filed and some land as students, guests or tourists.
So, let’s talk about the category which has major settlement issues. That is that of Arbitrageurs. They are the ones whose presence in US is employment-based. They have their foot in both the worlds. They possess an Indian passport, have been honored with work authorization of USA and start fantasizing of American Citizenship.
So, depending on the employment level with the employer, the people in this category would fall under EB1, EB2 or EB3. Undoubtedly, the ones in EB3 being the most uncertain & thus highly-frustrated. They have the least secured existence. The wait-time being so longer for EB2 and EB3, these people decide to carve their destiny and start nurturing their dream of an American Life. Once the wait time reaches its end, their fake American Dream can either BOOM or BUST.
Every skilled Indian landing in USA fosters a dream of working with big software giants, netting heavy bucks, creating a good life for himself and for his family. Superficially, YES! He is able to create a good life and starts to live his so-called ‘American Dream’.
However, the reality sucks! The unending-wait for the Green Card starts smashing their dreams. The life starts to show true colors. And the ‘American-Dream’ starts altering to the ‘Uncertain American-Dream’ in no time. The green pastures don’t look so Green anymore, at least without a Green Card.
The question is that with so many limitations in terms of immigration policies, is it really worth living in United States as an Indian Immigrant? Knowing the fact that if the Green Card is rejected, the ticket back to India is going to be one way and there would be no looking back. So, is it really worth sweating so much willingly knowing the punitive consequences of destiny?
The high-skilled Indian population living in the US has a great positive economic impact for the United States. The Americans know the value of our highly talented people. But do they really know the state of depression these high-skilled people have to undergo on a daily-basis due to the uncertainty of their future life. The immigration rules are not at all friendly. They can’t change employers or quit a job to start a business due to the Green-card Sword hanging on their necks all the time. One fine day, if you get fired, you would be tossed out of the country as your visa status would be revoked.
Spouses of skilled immigrants face an even tougher life — despite being well qualified, they cannot work. Yeah, I know, I know. What the critics of this article going to say now. The new immigration rule is already in place and spouses would be able to work with EAD if they have received I-140. The time they have spent in the four-walls of their house despite being so skilled, have really hit their self-esteem and many have ended in a state of depression. No one can bring them back their lost time and compensate for it in any ways.
As a spouse of an H1B holder, the moment you know that you are going to be in the ‘Land of opportunities’, you get damn excited. The day you land in the US and your visa status changes to H4 (Dependent), that excitement takes the label of a ‘curse’.
I have stayed in the most beautiful part of the world. The most famous Scandinavia. That’s the place known as “The World’s Best Place to Live and the Happiest Place to be on Earth. You got me right! I am talking about this little beautiful Scandinavian country “Denmark”. The Happiness of a nation lies in the happiness of the people staying in that nation. Be it their own citizens or the migrants. It shouldn’t matter. The success of every nation lies in the success of their people. People become successful in their lives with the stability of their careers. And the government of a nation is responsible for providing that career stability.
With careers falling prey to the mercy of these immigration reforms, the day is not far when these Indian Skilled population would deny to enter USA and thus impacting the nation’s economy in the long run. It is time for our politicians to put aside petty politics and come together to act on immigration reform. I aspire to live a healthy “American-Dream” with my fellow Indians and not a dream which is going to be shattered soon.