, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 219-237

First online:

The Value of an Employment-Based Green Card

  • Sankar MukhopadhyayAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, University of Nevada Reno Email author 
  • , David OxborrowAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, University of Nevada Reno

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The need for and role of highly skilled immigrant workers in the U.S. economy is fiercely debated. Proponents and opponents agree that temporary foreign workers are paid a lower wage than are natives. This lower wage partly originates from the restricted mobility of workers while on a temporary visa. In this article, we estimate the wage gain to employment-based immigrants from acquiring permanent U.S. residency. We use data from the New Immigrant Survey (2003) and implement a difference-in-difference propensity score matching estimator. We find that for employer-sponsored immigrants, the acquisition of a green card leads to an annual wage gain of about $11,860.


Immigration Permanent residency High skill Mobility