WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden is looking to address excessive delays in the processing system of green cards, the White House has said, a move that will benefit many Indians working in the US on H-1B visas.
A green card, officially known as a permanent resident card, is a document issued to immigrants in the US as proof that the holder has been granted the privilege of permanent residence in the US.
Indian IT professionals, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US primarily on H-1B work visas, are the worst victims of the current immigration system, which imposes a seven per cent per-country quota on the allocation of the coveted green card. Permanent legal residence.
“The president absolutely wants to address the delay in the green card processing system as well,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference on Friday.
She was responding to a question on the waste of about 80,000 unused employment-based green card numbers, officially called legal permanent residency, on October 1 as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allocated them to several million people. are unable to. Waiting in line for a green card.
The extreme delay, sometimes lasting several decades, of hundreds and thousands of talented Indian technology professionals in green card processing is one of the major issues of concern among Indian-Americans and their dependent children living here.
The H-1B visa, the most sought after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Technology companies depend on it to hire thousands of employees every year from countries like India and China.
Indian technology professionals had urged the Biden administration and the US Congress to make necessary legislative changes to not let those green card slots run out.
Earlier this week, Congresswoman Marinette Miller-Meeks introduced the Preserving Employment Visa Act, which would allow USCIS to preserve unused employment-based visas for use in fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
The legislation is the House companion to S.2828, introduced by Senator Thom Tillis in September.
Miller-Meeks said, “Ensuring that our immigration system is fair and orderly is one of my top priorities in Congress. These visas are already authorized by Congress if and for the COVID-19 pandemic.” If not, it would have been used.”
“My legislation will spur American recovery from COVID-19, contribute to long-term economic growth, and provide relief for healthcare providers by reducing green card backlogs,” she said.
in the fiscal year 2020; A total of 122,000 family-preference visas went unused.
This brought the number of employment-based visas available to 226,000 in FY21.
This dramatic increase in employment-based visas represents a unique opportunity to reduce the green card backlog and improve American competitiveness through legal immigration.
Delays in processing at USCIS can ruin these much-needed employment-based visas.
According to recent court filings, USCIS is currently at risk of wasting about 83,000 employment-based visas, which expired on October 1 this year.
This is in addition to the 9,100 unused employment-based visas from FY20 onwards.
Wasting these visas would be a huge loss to American economic competitiveness and the healthcare industry.
American businesses and healthcare providers were already struggling to fill both skilled and unskilled jobs before COVID-19 and facing labor shortages as they recover from the pandemic, Congresswoman said.