In 2015, 1,051,031 green cards were issued out by the Federal Government, which is the highest amount distributed since 2011.
After raising the annual cap in 1990, the Federal Government issued over 26 million green cards, and in the past 10 years 1 million people have been granted legal permanent status along with lifetime work permits.
As mentioned in the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, 213,910 green cards, about one-third issued, were granted to extended family members by way of the family-chain categories. Parents of U.S. citizen were issued an additional 132,961 green cards.
If Congress passed Rep. Jody Hice’s (R-Ga.) 604, Nuclear Family Priority Act, the family-sponsored and parent categories would be removed. This legislation would do away with the family-chain categories and allow for parents of citizens to renew their non-immigrant visas.
The Visa Lottery granted 47,934 green cards to citizens of underrepresented countries, in spite of their skills or work experience, which were issued out by the State Department.
Refugees and asylees, under the current law, are permitted to apply for green cards as long as they’ve lived in the United States for one full year. A total of 151,995 green cards, the highest amount issued since 2011 were issued to refugees and asylees in 2015.
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