Bills introduced to remove per-country limits on green card

Two identical legislation backed by top companies from Silicon Valley, like Google, have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to end the per-country limit on green cards. They could benefit thousands of Indian professionals waiting to gain permanent legal residency. In the Senate, Republican Mike Lee and Democratic presidential aspirant Kamala Harris introduced the ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act’ on Wednesday, a Bill that would remove per-country cap for employment-based green cards. An identical bill — Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act — was tabled in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Zoe Lofgren and Ken Buck, Chair and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, with co-sponsorship of a bipartisan group of 112 Congressmen.
Indians stand to gain
If passed by Congress and signed into law, the two pieces of legislation would benefit thousands of Indian professionals on H-1B visas whose current wait time for permanent legal residency is more than a decade. The U.S. currently offers 1,40,000 green cards every year to employment-based immigrantst.
The existing law, however, provides that not more than 7% of these green cards can go to nationals of any one country — even though some countries are more populous than others. Because of this limit, a Chinese or an Indian postgraduate may have to wait half a decade or more for a Green Card, much longer than a student from a less-populated country. “Ours is a nation of immigrants, and our strength has always come from our diversity and our unity,” Ms. Harris said.

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