The US Capitol is seen ahead of a possible government shutdown, in Washington, DC, December. Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP
The US Capitol is seen ahead of a possible government shutdown, in Washington, DC, December. Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP

Washington: Powerful lawmakers in the US House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced identical legislations, which if passed would end per-country green card limit and benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian professionals waiting to gain permanent legal residency in the country. Top companies from the Silicon Valley like Google and corporate bodies such as US Chambers of Commerce are backing the legislations.

If passed by Congress and signed into law, the legislations would benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian professionals on H-1B visas. The H-1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

The United States makes currently 140,000 green cards available every year to employment-based immigrants, including many who first come here on temporary H-1B or L visas. The existing law, however, provides that not more than seven per cent of these green cards can go to nationals of any one country.

Because of this seven per cent limit, for example, a Chinese or Indian post-graduate may have to wait half a decade or more for a green card, much longer than a student from a less-populated country. Mike Lee and Democratic presidential aspirant Kamala Harris introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act Wednesday, a bill that would remove per-country caps for employment-based green cards.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in