The U.S. Capitol Building stands in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg)

U.S. Passes Bill To Remove Country-Cap On Green Card, Indians Set To Benefit

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed, by an overwheming majority, a legislation to remove the 7 percent country-cap on Green Card applicants, a development which could end the agonising wait of tens of thousands of talented professionals from countries like India who have sought permanent residency.

The bill, when signed into law, increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7 percent of the total number of such visas available that year to 15 percent.

A Green Card allows a non-U.S. citizen to live and work permanently in America.

Indian IT professionals, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the U.S. mainly on the H-1B work visas, are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a 7 percent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Card or permanent legal residency.

Lifting the per-country cap would mainly benefit professionals from countries like India, for whom the wait for Green Card is more than a decade. Some of the recent studies have said the waiting period for Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas is more than 70 years.

The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from Financial Year 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.

The bill, however, has to be passed by the Senate, where the ruling Republican Party enjoys a majority, before it can be signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Also read: Trump Administration To Propose Major Changes To H1-B Visa Rules

Bloomberg Quint

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