US policy wise : Visa, Free Trade and WTO

What is the EAGLE Act of US Visas?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : EAGLE Act

Mains level : US Visa policies and its impact for Indians

Legislation to remove the per-country cap on permanent residency visas, or green cards, for the US has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

What is the EAGLE Act?

  • Eagle stands for Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act, 2021.
  • The act seeks to phase out the seven percent per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas and raises the per-country limit on family-sponsored visas from seven percent to 15 percent.
  • It provides for a nine-year period for the elimination of this limit.
  • The seven percent limit was introduced in the mid-20th century, which has led countries with relatively small populations to be allocated the same number of visas as a relatively large-population country.

Benefits of the act

  • It will benefit the US economy by allowing American employers to focus on hiring immigrants based on their merit, not their birthplace.
  • The bill will be advantageous for Indian job-seekers who currently rely on temporary visas or await green cards to work in the US.

How does it help Indians?

  • 75 percent of the backlog for employment‐based visas was made up of Indians.
  • Backlogged Indian workers face an impossible wait of nine decades if they all could remain in the line.
  • More than 200,000 petitions filed for Indians could expire as a result of the workers dying of old age before they receive green cards.
  • With the EAGLE Act, the per-country cap would be removed, which may expedite the petitions for those applying for employment-based green cards.

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