Legal Immigration Process: US President Joe Biden could think of an overhaul of the legal immigration system, as indicated by a blueprint accessed by the New York Times.
The proposal calls for streamlining the route to citizenship for H-1B workers in the United States.
Most H-1B workers face decades-long wait times for their green cards to get approved.
Indians account for almost 70% of the H-1B visas that are given.
Employers sponsor a large portion of these workers for green cards or permanent residence permits.
As of now, there is no timeline or clarity as to when these proposals would officially be introduced to the US Congress.
“It does seem that President Biden wishes to implement these reforms through executive actions. Which don’t have to pass Congress,” said Cyrus Mehta, an immigration lawyer.
The US government can achieve a great deal through executive actions and changes in guidelines, he said.
“However, I am uncertain about whether any of the thoughts that I and other immigration attorneys and experts have proposed have been considered,” Mehta added.
Biden May Consider Changes to the Legal Immigration Process
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers the immigration process, recently asked specialists for thoughts and ideas on changes needed to the immigration system.
The blueprint, named “D.H.S. Plan to Restore Trust in Our Legal Immigration System“. Also, calls for measures to roll back some of the policies set up by previous US President Donald Trump and address backlogs, among different issues.
Around 1,000,000 individuals got green cards in 2019 before Covid-19 induced closures affected visa processing services.
A combined and large-scale immigration change may not be possible, said Nandini Nair, partner at law office Greenspoon Marder. Adding that focused and piecemeal executive action might be a better approach.
Also, there are proposals to improve opportunities for foreign workers through the H-1B visa program. Also, create access for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start their own business in the country.
In recent years, a few entrepreneurs have selected to move to Canada, which has an entrepreneur-friendly immigration policy.
Also, the document discusses tackling delays in processing, which has increased essentially under the past government.
The average time taken to support employer-sponsored green cards has multiplied over the most recent four years. With the backlog for citizenship applications up 80% since 2014.
“As the Indian people group is the biggest beneficiaries of the legal immigration system. Moreover, any significant change would incredibly profit them,” Nair said. Adding that the US administration’s key focus must be on the green card backlog for Indian nationals.
“There must be a considerable change to this system so people from any nation are not waiting decades for permanent residency,” said Nair.