The US has declared that it will issue employment authorisation cards to some non-immigrant categories, including those who have been waiting for green cards, for five years.
This will benefit thousands of Indians living in the US. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that it was extending the maximum validity period of Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) to 5 years for initial and renewal EADs for certain non-citizens who need to apply for employment authorisation.
These include people who are seeking asylum or withholding of removal, adjustment of status under INA 245, and suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal, the federal agency said.
The agency said that by increasing the maximum EAD validity period to 5 years, it aims to reduce the number of new Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, that it receives for renewal EADs in the next few years. This will help it to lower the processing times and backlogs, it said.
The agency also said that the employment authorisation of the noncitizen depends on their underlying status, circumstances, and EAD filing category.
For example, if someone received an EAD under the category based on a pending adjustment of status application for 5 years, and then their adjustment application is denied, their employment authorisation may end before the expiry date on their EAD, it said.
A new study has revealed that more than 10.5 lakh Indians are in line for an employment-based Green Card and 4 lakh of them may die before they get the permanent residency document in the US.
ALSO READ| US libraries are under threat from digital assault, can they be saved?
A Green Card, or a Permanent Resident Card, is a document that gives immigrants the right to live permanently in the US. There are limits on how many green cards can be issued to people from certain countries.
The study by David J Bier of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank, said that the backlog of employment-based Green Cards reached a record high of 1.8 million cases this year. Out of these, 1.1 million cases are from India (63 per cent). Another nearly 250,000 cases are from China (14 per cent), it said.