Kids of skilled immigrants from India may be forced to leave US

The Columbus Dispatch | 10/10/2017 | Staff
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As Congress contemplates the next step for children who immigrated to this country illegally, a population of young immigrants who entered America legally is beginning to speak out.

Not covered by the proposed DREAM Act, not eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, these children are unlike any other class of immigrants and probably have no chance to stay in the country as adults unless the federal government clears a decades-long backlog of applications.

Dreamers - Children - America - India - Parents

Nicknamed “H-4 Dreamers,” the children were brought to America from India with their parents on H-4, or dependent, visas. Until they turn 21, their status is the same as that of their parents, so if their parents become citizens, they do as well.

Many parents take this approach, coming into the country for a short period on an H-1B visa as a skilled worker and then applying to stay on an immigrant visa.

Problem - Family - India - Wait - Visa

That’s usually not a problem, unless the family is from India, where there’s a 70-year wait for immigrant visa status because of a large number of qualified applicants.

Citizens from India face the longest wait of any group because about 370,000 have applied for immigrant visas, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s 2017 annual report, and fewer than 10,000 are accepted per year.

Shrivatsan - Columbus - Resident - Shri - US

Shrivatsan, a 12-year-old Columbus resident who is nicknamed Shri, found out recently that he might never be able to become a U.S. citizen, meaning he also might have to leave the country at age 21 and return to India, a country he doesn’t recall living in and doesn’t call home.

He entered the United States as a 2-year-old with his parents.

Father - Shri - Name - Immigration - Status

His father, who asked not to be identified and asked that Shri be identified only by first name because of his uncertain immigration status, works in information technology and was able to enter the country on...
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