Joe Biden Brings Biggest Immigration Reform In 35 Years: Green Card For All; More H1B Visas

An ambitious immigration reform bill has been sent to Congress by Joe Biden, only hours after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. This reform bill covers an eight-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, delivering aid to Central America as well as bolster border security with new screening technologies.

US Citizenship Act, 2021, as it is being referred to as, trying to modernize the immigration system. It is one of most revolutionary immigration reform package since 1986.

Under the rule of Donald Trump, last four years have seen plethora of restrictionist immigration policies, while on the other hand the policies of Biden seem promising to immigrants in the US.

Currently, the wait period runs into decades for legal permanent residency, hence this move is deemed to be a boon that would in turn benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals in the US.

Legal Immigration Reforms

There is a provision for undocumented immigrants that would allow them to obtain legal status firstly and citizenship eventually.

Unless granted a waiver on humanitarian grounds, these would have been present in the US on or before January 1, 2021 in order to qualify for the same.

To start with, they will obtain a work permit and then travel abroad with the assurance that they can re enter in future. After passing the background checks as well as paying taxes, they will be able to apply for green card after five years. However, the immigrants such as farmworkers as well as those who are covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can apply immediately for green cards.

In order to apply for US citizenship, they have to hold their green card for three years and pass additional background tests.

Increase In Per Country Visa Caps

By recapturing unused visas to clear the backlog, eliminating the lengthy waits, and it increases their per-country visa caps the bill will reform the family based immigration system. The bars as well other provisions that have kept families apart are also eliminated.

The official said that the bill has made it easier for the students to stay in US who are graduates of US universities with advanced degrees, in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It has also improved the access to green cards for workers from the low wage sectors.

Per-county quota affects the Indian IT professionals the most, due to a seven percent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Card or permanent legal residency.

Diversity visa program has been increased to 80,000 from 55,000 visas per year.

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