US House passes bill to lift 7% country cap on Green Card
11 July 2019
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill lifting the present seven per cent country-cap on issuing Green Cards, a move which would benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals.
A Green Card allows a person to live and work permanently in the US.
The bill, however, has to go through the Senate, wherein the Republicans enjoy a majority, before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.
Once signed into law by the President, it would considerably shorten the endless wait of talented professionals from countries like India who have applied for permanent residency in the United States.
Under the present law highly skilled Indian IT professionals, most of whom come to the US on the H-1B work visa, have to wait for several years to be eligible for the coveted Green Card under the seven per cent country quota.
Indian professionals, being larger in numbers, have a waiting period is more than 10 years and this may go up to 70 years for those on the H1-B visa, as per some recent studies.
No more than seven per cent of the visas may be issued to natives of any one independent country in a fiscal year, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), this bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from seven per cent of the total number of such visas available that year to 15 per cent and eliminates the seven per cent cap for employment-based immigrant visas.
It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.