December 4, 2023

Immigration Green Card

Immigration Is Good For You

US Green Card changes are ‘helpful but stingy,’ expert on alternative options for immigrants

2 min read

The Biden administration has released policy guidance through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ease norms for those waiting for green cards in the US. The guidance focuses on the eligibility criteria for initial and renewal applications for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in compelling circumstances. This change is expected to benefit numerous Indian technology professionals who are currently facing lengthy waiting periods for Green Cards or permanent residency in the country.

Here is what the new US Green Card rule states: 

The USCIS guidance outlines specific requirements that applicants must meet to be eligible for an initial EAD based on compelling circumstances.

These include being the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, being in valid non-immigrant status or authorised grace period, not having filed an adjustment of status application, and meeting certain biometrics and criminal background requirements.

Further, USCIS will exercise discretion to determine whether an applicant demonstrates compelling circumstances justifying the issuance of employment authorisation.

What experts say on the new US Green Card rule?

Speaking on the changes, Nicholas A. Mastroianni, President and CMO, U.S Immigration Fund (USIF)

“If someone has an approved I-140 and their employment is terminated, this new initiative gives them the possibility to stay in the USA with a work permit.”

“It’s a new program and USCIS is typically rather stingy with findings of “compelling” circumstances. It is not clear that the mere fact of being out of work is sufficient to warrant approval of the work permit.”

He further suggested that currently, for those seeking a more certain path to sustained US residency, the EB-5 Visa remains an exceedingly dependable and permanent solution. 

However, it’s advisable to carefully consider these options and consult with immigration experts to navigate this complex landscape effectively.

A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.

Immigration law provides for approximately 140,000 employment-based green cards to be issued each year.

However, only seven per cent of those green cards can go to individuals from a single country annually.

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Updated: 23 Jun 2023, 03:25 PM IST


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