A US panel voted to process all applications for green cards within six months, a proposal if adopted is likely to bring cheers to Indian citizens.
A green card is a permanent resident card that is issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the person has been granted the privilege of residing permanently in the US.
At present, Indian IT professionals who come to the US on the H-1B work visas are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a 7% per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Card or permanent legal residency.
The recommendations of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI) will be sent to the White House for approval. If adopted, it is likely to bring cheers to the hundreds and thousands of Indian-Americans and those waiting, some even for decades, for a Green Card.
The proposal on the issue was raised by Indian-American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria during the meeting of the PACAANHPI, during which all its 25 commissioners unanimously approved it.
The recommendations aim to reduce the cycle time for processing all forms related to family-based Green Card applications. It recommended National Visa Center (NVC) State Department facility hire additional officers to increase their capacity to process Green Card applications interviews by 100% in three months from August 2022 and to increase Green Card Card applications visa interviews and adjudicate decisions by 150% – up from capacity of 32,439 in April 2022 — by April 2023.
Among other things, the commission also recommended the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to expand premium processing to additional employment-based Green Card applications, all work permit petitions, and temporary immigration status extension requests, allowing applicants to pay $2,500 to have their cases adjudicated within 45 days in a phased approach
In FY21, only 65,452 family preference green cards were issued out of the annual 226,000 green cards available. There were 421,358 pending interviews in April compared to 436,700 in March.
Noting that while the US population has grown substantially in recent decades, the immigration system has not changed to keep pace.