Visa Crunch

Biden’s US immigration policy repairs may help Indians in the Green Card queue

President-elect Joe Biden has promised to reverse the Trump administration’s proposal to retract the permission to work for spouses of H-1B visa employees along with repairs in the US immigration policies through his proposal of an Immigration Bill that will make the Green Card process easier and reduce the duration to attain citizenship which will be helpful to thousands of Indians.

Biden is expected to introduce the Immigration Bill to the Congress for approval on his inaugural day on the 20th of January according to the Washington Post. The Bill has to be passed by both the Houses to be signed into law.

Partner at law from Greenspoon Marder, Nandini P. Nair said that “this proposal is the type of reform the legal immigration community has been seeking for years” and also added that “if this Bill can actually become law, it would substantially decrease the wait time for green cards for many foreign nationals from backlogged countries, such as India and China.”

At present, Indians have to wait for decades to receive Green Cards due to the country caps and the employment-based immigrants’ Green Card backlog in 2020 is more than 1.2 million which is a record high with 68% or about 800,000 of them to be Indians according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

With the majority of qualified women, Indians receive more than 90% of the 120,000 visas with the H-4 employment authorization document (H4 EAD) issued from the year 2015. As there are about 220,000 unused Green Cards available under this provision according to the CATO Institute and Biden’s Immigration Bill will propose to appropriate them to other categories to reduce the backlogs in family and employment categories.

The process may take some time according to the managing attorney at, Rajiv S. Khanna as he said that “some of the changes will be delayed because they need a change in the laws, which is likely to be a few-months process, but the Biden administration is already prepared to send a legislative package to Congress. Some of the changes will be delayed because they might require deregulation.”

In April 2020, Trump has suspended the issuance of Green Cards and H-1B visas till March 2021, stating about the increasing unemployment following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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