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Last Updated : Mar 04, 2019 03:23 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

2 new bills promise to end long wait for Green Card: All you need to know

A new bipartisan Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act has been introduced in the US House of Representatives

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There is some positive news coming from the US House of Representatives for immigrants, especially Indians, looking to avail a Green Card. A new bipartisan Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act introduced in the house apparently makes the uncertain and long process of securing US citizenship slightly less arduous.

This Bill was introduced by representatives Zoe Lofgren and Ken Buck. It had 112 co-sponsors and has been supported by 300 members of the 535-strong house.

At present, the waiting period for a Green Card depends on the country of origin of the person applying — a person coming from a country with a lower population might get it faster than a person from a more populous country due to the per country cap. However, this bill puts employment-based immigrants on one level, thereby removing the seven percent 'per-country' limit on employment-based immigrant visas or Green Card.

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The bill also aims to raise this seven percent per-country cap on family-sponsored visas to 15 percent.

Another bill is in the works for immigrants from certain countries, especially Indians, which aims to clear the visa backlog in 5-7 years. This move will allow as many as 29,000 Indians into the US on permanent employment or Green Card as the limitations would be lifted. At present, Indians going to the US to study and then seeking employment there are likely to be on a temporary visa for the entire duration of their stay. They are required to extend the visa every three years and update it with every change in their position or salary.

This process will help highly skilled Indians, who have been living in the US for a long time but are not getting citizenship due to origin country quotas. If the new bill is promulgated, the Green Card process will become much simpler as applications will be processed as they are received.

The bill has a lot of support in the house, but it will still be a task to get it passed. "This bill does have a large number of supporters, which makes it easier to push it through. But there will be a lot of resistance to any bill that seeks to change the US immigration regime," Poorvi Chothani, a Mumbai-based immigration lawyer told The Economic Times. With presidential elections next year, President Donald Trump may not be keen on signing an immigration law.

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First Published on Mar 4, 2019 03:23 pm
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