US removes country cap on green card
The US lawmakers passed a bill targeted at lifting the present seven percent country-caps on issuing green cards. This move is expected to benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals.
The passed bill would considerably shorten the wait time of talented professionals from countries like India who have applied for permanent residency in the United States.
Indian IT professionals are considered to be most hit by the current immigration system which imposes a seven percent country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Cards or permanent legal residency. Some of the recent studies have said the waiting period for Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas is more than 70 years.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), this bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from seven per cent of the total number of such visas available that year to 15 percent and eliminates the seven per cent cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.
The House Bill also provides a transition period from fiscal year 2020 to 2022 by reserving a percentage of employment visas – in the EB-2 (exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled workers) and EB-5 (investors) categories, for individuals who are not from the two countries whose nationals claim most of these visas.
The bill has to be passed by the Senate, wherein the Republicans enjoy a majority, before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.