From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : HR 1044
Mains level : Changing visa norms by US and its implication on Indians
- The US lawmakers passed a Bill titled Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 1044).
- It is aimed at lifting the current seven per cent country-cap on issuing Green Cards, a development which would benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals.
What the HR 1044 means for India?
- A change in the existing law can mean that immigrants from countries like India and China seeking permanent residency could expect shorter wait times.
- Indian IT professionals, who under the existing law would have to wait up to 70 years as some studies suggest, can now hope for a fairer system with lesser processing time.
- Apart from removing caps for employment-based Green Cards, caps for family-based categories have also been increased to 15%.
- A US based institute released a study in 2018 saying, that based on current law and backlog, Indian nationals holding advanced educational degrees may have to wait over 150 years in order to get a Green Card.
What is a Green card?
- A Permanent Resident Card, also known as a ‘Green Card’, allows a non-US citizen to live and work permanently in America.
- Green Card holders can qualify for US citizenship generally after three to five years.
- Over 10 lakh migrants from around the world are known to receive Green Cards yearly.
Popular Green Card categories
- Categories of employment-based visas under which Indian professionals are known to apply are the:
- ‘EB-1’, or priority workers with extraordinary ability
- ‘EB-2’ or those holding advanced degrees, and
- ‘EB-3’ or skilled workers.
- The EB-2 category generally sees the most number of applicants.