In what could bring cheer to the Indian-American green card applicants, a US panel has recently voted to reduce the internal processing time of all applications for green cards or permanent residency to six months.
If the recommendations by the President’s Advisory Commission (PAC), which has sent them to the White House for approval, are adopted, it will bring relief to several Indian-Americans who are waiting for years for a green card.
What is a green card?
A green card is issued to immigrants to the US, granting them the privilege to reside and work permanently in the country.
At present, Indian applicants face the highest wait time as there is a huge number of applicants in the queue and the current immigration system imposes a cap of 7 percent per country on allotment of the green card.
What are the new recommendations?
The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI) has recommended that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) establish a new internal cycle time goal by removing redundant steps, automating approvals, improving systems and enhancing policies. The panel hopes that the new cycle time for processing forms will come down to six months for forms related to all green card applications, family-based green card applications and DACA renewals.
The panel has also recommended hiring additional staff to process the applications.
The recommendations will help the USCIS clear the huge backlog. According to a policy paper by Indian American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria, there were 421,358 interviews pending in April this year. In financial year 2021, only 65,452 family preference green cards were issued against the annual 226,000 green cards available, PTI reported.
Why is important for Indians?
A speedier immigration process will help Indian IT professionals who come to the US on H-1B work visas get faster approvals to become US citizens. Getting citizenship will give them greater flexibility to choose jobs or start their own business as compared to H-1B visa, which has stringent employment terms.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)