Visa Crunch

A US bill proposes a fee for a green card; Indians may benefit

If a new House bill is passed into law, millions of people who have been stuck in the US for years in the employment-based Green Card backlog, including a large number of Indians, can hope for lawful permanent residency in America by paying an additional fee. If included in the reconciliation package and signed into law, the measure is expected to benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals who are currently locked in a long line for a Green Card. A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants as proof that they have been granted the right to live permanently in the United States.

An employment-based immigrant applicant with a “priority date that is more than 2 years before” can adjust to permanent residence without numerical limits by paying a “supplemental fee of $5,000,” according to a committee print released by the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration. For the EB-5 category, the fee is $50,000. (immigrant investors). According to Forbes magazine, the provisions will expire in 2031. The fee for obtaining a Green Card for a family-based immigrant who is sponsored by a US citizen and has a “priority date that is more than 2 years ago” is USD 2,500.

According to the committee print, if an applicant’s priority date is not within two years but they are required to be present in the country, the supplement fee will be $1,500. This fee is in addition to any administrative processing fees the applicant may have paid. The bill, nevertheless, does not include permanent structural changes to the legal immigration system, such as eliminating country caps for green cards or increasing annual H-1B visa quotas.

The requirements would have to pass the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, as well as be signed by the president, before becoming law, according to the article. If successful, the legalization plan would authorize undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, TPS beneficiaries, farmworkers, and other pandemic-era essential workers to apply for permanent US residency, or green cards, according to a CBSNews report.

In response to the bill, David J Bier, a Cato Institute immigration policy analyst, said, “Employment-based applicants who have waited two years from their priority date can adjust… it’s almost as if the EB caps for adjustment applicants who can pay $5,000 have been abolished. Awesome!”

“The fee for EB5 is $50,000. Even those who cannot afford the fees or who are unable to pay them would benefit from this cap space being made available to others. It’s unjust that the bill keeps the country caps in place, meaning that Indians and Chinese will be the only EB applicants who must pay the $5K/$50K fee “In a series of tweets, he stated. He stated that the diversity, family, and #H1B base caps remain unchanged. “Because H1B is the feeder for the majority of EB, this is essentially the same as maintaining the EB cap. There will be no reforms to #H2A, #H2B, or other work programs, so there will be nothing to help low-wage workers or address the border “he stated.

“Essentially, this bill will indirectly assist a few legal immigrants from other countries, but the primary goal is to integrate existing immigrants. That’s a noble cause, but the immigration/migration component of immigration reform is conveniently overlooked. There are no new paths for workers; the system remains the same “He sent out a tweet.

Raja Krishnamoorthi led a group of 40 US lawmakers in writing to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, claiming that the budget reconciliation package provides relief to those stuck in the employment-based Green Card backlog while also strengthening the economy.

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