University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dept. of Psychology


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Highlighting the archaic immigration system in the United States of America (US), the present study demonstrates for the first time the impact of green card waiting time on the work and family life of Indian immigrants living in the US. Our present findings show that 93.4% of our participants are very concerned about the estimated green card waiting time in the US. We find 70% of the total participants are seriously thinking at the present time about emigrating to a more visa-friendly country. Also, 30% of the participants have already applied for permanent residency in a visa friendly country and 9% of the participants have already obtained a permanent residency in a more visa-friendly country. Based on these turnover intentions, we estimate the potential direct costs to American organizations due to the green card waiting time to be in the range of $19,303,200,000 - $54,261,724,160. Furthermore, our quantitative results show that the delay in receiving a green card is negatively affecting the work and family/nonwork life of Indian immigrants in the US. These critical issues are in turn causing health issues such as constant fear of unknown (uncertainty and feeling stuck issues due to green card backlog), stress, frustration and chronic health issues. Overall, in addition to the direct losses, the work and family issues caused due to the green card waiting time could result in indirect losses to organizations. We hope that the present findings may be useful to American policy makers and organizational leaders as further decisions are made regarding the American immigration system. In particular, we hope these findings will help to illustrate many serious implications associated with the green card delays and other visa-related proposed policy changes on immigrants, and their spouses, families, and communities.


Our sincere thanks to the Indian immigrant community in the US for their support and participation in this study. We immensely value the support of the members belonging to SIIA (Skilled Immigrants in America), NATA (North American Telugu Association, Indo-American organization of Telugus from North America) and Kannada Koota (North American Kannada Association, Indo-American organization of Kannadigas).




Industrial and organizational psychology


green card; immigrants; H-1B and H4 visa; work/nonwork life; Indian; immigration policy


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Health Psychology | Human Resources Management | Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Organization Development | Personality and Social Contexts

Document Type

grey literature



Language Code


Digital Collection

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Industrial and Organizational Psychology Translational Research and Working Papers



An indentured servant: The impact of green card waiting time on the life of highly skilled Indian immigrants in the United States of America