US lawmakers are casting their vote regarding lifting the country-cap of seven percent for issuing the Green Card. This is a move that will immensely benefit top skilled Indian IT professionals who are languishing in the queue for several years.
The US Green Card
A US Green Card permits the person holding it to live/work on a permanent basis in the USA. As per the Congressional Research Service, this bill aims at Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants for increasing the cap for individual countries on family-based visas from the existing seven percent of the total visas available in a year to 15 percent. This also does away with the seven percent cap existing in the employment -based visas.
IT professionals from India are at the top of their skills and arrive to the US on H-1B work visas. Additionally, the present immigration system has the seven percent quota per country, for allotting the US Green Card – the permanent legal residency.
It also has the support of 310 lawmakers from the Democratic and Republican Party, the Immigrants Act is set for success in the US House of Representatives having 435 members.
The waiting period for US Permanent Residency
Sustained with the support of 108 Republicans and 203 Democrats who co-sponsored the bill, its proponents aim to use the fast-track process which needs only 290 votes to successfully pass the bill without any hearing or amendment. Lifting this cap will benefit professionals from many countries especially India where the citizens have a long waiting period for Green Card. The Library of Congress spoke that this act, the HR 1044, had the maximum viewing in a week that began on July 7. It also removed the reduced numbers of visas for Chinese nationals.
The bill established transition rules for visas based on employment from 2020-22 after reservation of a percentage of EB-2 workers possessing the exceptional ability or an advanced degrees, EB-3 for skilled workers, and EB-5 favoring the investors visas for individuals who do not belong to the two countries with a large number of recipients.
The US Immigration Bill needs passing
Among the visas that are unreserved, 85 percent will be allotted to immigrants of a single country.
The bill needs passing by the Senate, where the Republicans are in the majority, before it is signed into law by the affirmation of the President.
A similar bill having the support of the bipartisan group of senators will come up for deliberation soon. These bills were introduced in the Senate and the House in Feb 2019. It has the cooperation and guidance of influential leaders like Zoe Lofgren, Ken Buck, Harris and Mike Lee.