The USA has introduced America’s Children Act, which will protect documented dreamers from losing their lawful US immigration status once they turn 21 and being forced to self-deport from the USA to their home country. Dreamers are people who were brought to the USA as kids by parents who held non-immigrant visas. There are approximately two lakh documented dreamers, of whom roughly 70% belong to Indian families.
This bill also provides work authorization to documented dreamers above 16 years of age who have pending Green Card applications. The parents of many dreamers have entered the USA through the H-1B visa. As per the current rules, once these children turn 21, they cannot continue living in the USA as dependents under the H-4 visa. They either have to switch to the F-1 visa for international students, which has higher fees and more work restrictions, followed by a work visa, or self-deport to their parents’ home country – in this case, India.
The decades-long backlog for the employment-based US Green Card for Indians leads to a vast majority of these children aging out before their Green Card application is approved. A study by David Bier indicates that as of April 2020, 1.36 lakh dreamers from Indian families were caught in this backlog, under the EB-2 and EB-3 visas, with an estimated waiting period of 84 years. The study shows that 64% of these dreamers would age out without obtaining a Green Card.
The bill creates a permanent residence pathway for documented dreamers who have maintained their lawful status in the USA for ten years (this includes four years as dependents) and have graduated from a higher education institution. The bill also locks the dreamer’s age on the date of filing the Green Card. This will prevent aging out and family separation caused by the long Green Card queue.
The passage of this bill will help the Indian diaspora by allowing young immigrants who were educated and raised in the USA to transition to permanent residence and eventually attain citizenship. To find out more about the requirements and process for US immigration, contact India’s leading consultants at 8595338595 or [email protected].