US House passes bill removing country cap on green cards

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US House passes bill removing country cap on green cards

Almost 300,000 Indians living in the US are expected to benefit from the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act or HR1044 that was passed by the US House of Representatives yesterday. The act seeks to lift the seven per cent country cap on Greencards and INdians would be the biggest beneficiaries of such a move. The bill on the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act or HR 1044 increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from seven per cent of the total number of visas available that year to 15 per cent and eliminates the seven per cent cap for employment-based immigrant visas. The bill, which was supported by both Republicans and Democrats still needs to be passed by the Senate before President Donald Trump can sign it into law. 

“Prima facie, it may seem like a positive decision for Indian tech workers as it will reduce the waiting period for those with pending green card applications. However, the long-term impact will be negligible. 

Indian IT companies face H-1B rejection rate of 20%-40% compared to 1% for American companies. The ‘Buy American, Hire American’ policy has resulted in numerous legal and administrative changes aimed at discouraging Indian tech workers’ immigration,” said Vivek Tandon, founder, EB5 BRICS. 

The bill has been criticised on the grounds of being beneficial mainly to Big Tech and Indian outsourcers, and to Indian and Chinese immigrants at the cost of other nationalities and professions. Some opponents of the bill said that it would benefit ‘low-wage Indian graduates and take jobs away from middle class American graduates. 

In a statement, the Centre for Immigration Studies said, “Under current rules, citizens of India are getting about 25% of all the professional employment green cards each year. If this bill becomes law citizens of India will get more than 90% of the professional employment green cards, according to USCIS – for at least the next 10 years. Green cards would be unavailable to applicants from all other parts of the world (and many other occupations) for at least a decade.” 

The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY 2020-22 by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas 

Source : Economic Times


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