Now, US green card process is likely to become easier as the White House has supported Congress to pass a bill – EAGLE Act – that proposes key changes in the law in favour of immigrants.
And if the bill becomes law then it will be hugely beneficial for several hundreds of thousands of immigrants specially Indian-Americans, who are in the green card queue for several years now.
Here is all you need to know about the new bill.
What is EAGLE Act?
The bill proposes to abolish the per country quota on green cards that will allow US employers to focus on hiring people based on merit, not their birthplace.
The bill among other things also includes important provisions to allow individuals who have been waiting
in the immigrant visa backlog for two years to file their green card applications, the White House said.
Although the applications could not be approved until a visa becomes available,
this would allow employment-based immigrants to transition off of their temporary visas and provide them with additional flexibility in changing employers or starting a business, it said.
Why the EAGLE Act is significant?
US Immigration law provides for approximately 140,000 employment-based green cards to be issued each year. However, only 7% of those green cards can go to individuals from a single country annually, cites FWD.
If the number of individuals being sponsored from a single country is greater than 7% of the annual available total,
a backlog forms, and the excess approved petitions are not considered.
Now, these country-specific caps have created extensive backlogs primarily India and China,
which are the main hubs for skilled workers willing to migrate to the US.
Citing the same, the White House said,
“The administration supports efforts to improve our immigrant visa system and ease the harsh effects of the immigrant visa backlog.”
The White also said, importantly, the bill would also keep families together by ensuring that children of employment-based immigrants
do not age out of dependent status or lose their eligibility for a green card, the White House noted.
Apparently, more than 880,000 people, including dependent spouses and children,
are waiting in the U.S. in employment-based green card backlogs.
In some categories, applicants who began the process in 2012 are just now able to file formally, meaning they may have waited more than a decade to join their families,
even though they were already qualified to do so, FWA said.
And this wait time will increase to 50 years if the law is not changed.
Lauding the act, the White House said for generations, immigrants have contributed to key sectors of the US economy and fortified America’s most valuable competitive advantage– the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.