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Most immigrants receive green cards through family members who are US citizens or permanent lawful residents (about 65%).A smaller portion (16% of all green cards issued by the US in 2013) of immigrants receive green cards through their US employers, and this process is known as employment-based immigration.Western Europe, however, has the highest ratio of share in employment-based immigration to total immigration thanks to the UK (Ireland’s share in employment-based immigration is comparable to its share in total immigration).The United Kingdom is by far the most important source for employment-based immigration from the EU to the US.
Comparing figures 3 and 5 shows that Eastern Europe is underrepresented in employment-based immigration considering its share in total immigration.
The following graph (Figure 4) looks at individual EU countries.
The countries with the greatest overrepresentation in green card numbers (given their relatively small shares in population) are Bulgaria, Ireland, and Lithuania, with shares in immigration three times higher than their shares in population.
This means that the immigrants coming into the US from Europe are more skilled than immigrants coming into the US from other world regions.
In 2013, 18 171 EU immigrants obtained green cards through employment.