Great news! U.S lawmakers have tabled a bill in Congress to reactivate nearly 380,000 unprocessed family and employment-based visas to curb the Green Card blockage created in the past few years. The announcement will benefit thousands of Indian families waiting for their green cards, enabling them to become part of America’s permanent workforce and achieve their goal of U.S immigration. The bill will also make it easier for American companies to attract and retain highly-skilled professionals, mainly from India and China.
The bill is known as the Jumpstart our Legal Immigration System Act, introduced by House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren. The bill aims to recapture approximately 400,000 unused family- and employment-based visas by creating a fast-track pathway for adjustment of status for those currently in the United States. The bill will also ensure a funding of $400 million to the USCIS to overhaul the application processing system. The Jumpstart Act is a part of the Build Back Better Act.
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card allows a foreign national to settle permanently in the United States. It is also known as a Permanent Resident Card and is a document issued as proof that the holder has the right to reside in the U.S lawfully. A Green Card allows the bearer to apply for U.S. citizenship after three years.
Jumpstart Act- Key Highlights of the Bill
As per Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the Jumpstart Act will work on the following parameters:
- Bring amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act to prevent the loss of any unprocessed or unused employment-based visas. The act will roll over them to the family-based visas.
- Recapturing unused immigrant visas from 1992 to 2021, including over 222,000 unused family-sponsored passports and approximately 157,000 employment-based visas.
- Permit 40,000 foreign nationals who were selected but failed to obtain diversity visas to reapply. These applicants could not finalize the process or enter the U.S. due to uncontrollable reasons such as Covid-19, office closures, or bureaucratic delays.
- It would allow immigrants in the U.S to qualify the Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status to apply for adjustment after paying a fee but could not to do so due to the unavailability of a visa number.
- The fee structure is as follows:
- A Supplemental fee of $1,500 (plus $250 for each derivative beneficiary) for a family-based visa petition.
- A supplemental fee of $3,000 for an employment-based first, second, or third preference visa petition.
- A supplemental fee of $15,000 for an employment-based fifth preference petition
- The bill will allow individuals to obtain a work permit while waiting for a visa number and will prevent dependent children from ‘aging out’ of eligibility for LPR status.
- The legislation will also permit immigrants in the US to exempt from the immigrant visa numerical limits and adjust their status to a green card upon the approval of their immigrant visa petition and fee submission.
The majority of Indian IT professionals come to the United States on the H1B work visa. They suffer the most when it comes to receiving Green Cards as the country imposes 7% quota per country on allotment of the permanent residency status to foreign nationals.
Currently, there are more than four million people waiting for the approval of their family immigration petitions. The move will help them reunite with their loved ones that could not happen because of the immigration backlogs and bureaucracy. It legislation will also enhance the country’s competitive advantage and its position as a global leader in the realm of innovation and technology. For more information about U.S Immigration, you may contact our immigration experts at 8595338595 or [email protected]