Washington, February 19
In a major move that will benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals in America, the Biden administration has introduced an ambitious immigration bill in Congress which among other things proposes to eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based green cards.
The US Citizenship Act of 2021 proposes a pathway to citizenship to 11 million undocumented workers, elimination of per country quota for employment-based green cards and work authorisation for dependents of H-1B foreign workers.
The bicameral immigration bill, if passed by both the chambers of the Congress – House of Representatives and the Senate – and signed into law by President Joe Biden, would bring citizenship to millions of foreign nationals, including undocumented workers and those who came to the country legally.
The legislation would also benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals and their families.
Those waiting for a Green Card for more than 10 years would get the legal permanent residency immediately as they would be exempted from the visa cap.
Indian IT professionals, waiting for more than a decade now, and whose number runs into thousands, are likely to be the biggest beneficiary of this provision of the bill.
Authors of the bill – Senator Bob Menendez and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez – told reporters that the US Citizenship Act of 2021 establishes a moral and economic imperative and a vision of immigration reform that is expansive and inclusive.
It grows the economy by making changes to the employment-based immigration system, eliminating per-country caps, making it easier for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) advanced degree holders from US universities to stay in the US and improving access to green cards for workers in lower-wage industries.
It would also give dependents of H-1B holders work authorisation, and prevent children of H-1B holders from "ageing out" of the system. PTI
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