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After graduating from Duke University, Waqar Aqeel almost lost out on the opportunity to work for Google due to delays in receiving his work visa. 

After graduating from Duke University, Waqar Aqeel almost lost out on the opportunity to work for Google due to delays in receiving his work visa. 

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg
Wealth
Immigration

How U.S. Visa Delays Are Taking a Costly Toll on Frustrated Workers

Delayed work permits mean some immigrants risk losing their jobs, even as the U.S. experiences labor shortages.

More than a million immigrants are waiting for U.S. work permits, cutting many of them out of the job market when labor is in short supply.

Processing times for visas and work permits soared after embassies and immigration offices closed for months due to the pandemic, creating a backlog of cases that the immigration agency is still struggling to work through and highlighting what critics say is the cumulative effect of years of dysfunction.