Wait for elusive green card may get shorter

US House of Representatives passes Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, Senate yet to clear Bill

By Author  |  Published: 11th Jul 2019  11:32 pmUpdated: 11th Jul 2019  11:36 pm

Hyderabad: From days when many Indians thought they would die waiting for a green card in the United States, times have begun changing, with the House of Representatives on Wednesday passing the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.

The bill, also known as House Resolution (HR) 1044, which now has to be passed by the US Senate, the Upper House and awaits a signature from US President Donald Trump before it can become a law, is expected to eliminate the country-wise quota for employment-based green cards, ensuring that people from all countries are treated equally in the green card process.
According to reports, the bill aims to make the employment-based green card system in the US fairer by providing an equal waiting time for people from all nationalities who have applied for permanent residence in the US.

And this, according to reputed GRE trainer Narsi Reddy Gayam, will be ‘extremely beneficial’ to Indians and Chinese, especially several thousands of Indians who have been waiting for over 10 years after applying for green card. The huge backlog for green cards, with some Indians even waiting since the last 15 years, will be cleared if this bill is passed, he says, adding that the country-wise quota of seven per cent will be done away with.

Every Indian who has been waiting for a green card might get cleared from the backlog list in two to three years, he said, adding that the bill, if passed, will also do away with ‘unfounded apprehensions’ that the Trump administration meant harm for Indians in US.

According to reports in the US media, currently Indian nationals are among those who wait the longest to obtain a green card or the permanent legal residence in the US.

The quota system, which the bill seeks to do away with, imposes limits on the number of green cards for individual nationalities, causing longer waiting time for countries with the highest demands. Indians averaged the longest wait of about eight years and six
months because of quotas, the reports said.

Victory for Sunayana’s crusade

Hyderabad: The passing of HR 1044 in the United States House of Representatives is being hailed by the US media as a victory of Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a Hyderabadi who was shot dead in February 2017 in Olathe, Kansas.

After the hate crime murder of her husband, Sunayana Dumala had become the face of the campaign for a legislation to help her and other Indian immigrants take a step toward US citizenship. Under the existing system, Dumala and other immigrants live on temporary work visas that are tied to their employer. Because of the high volume of immigrants from India and China, they are often forced to wait for even more than a decade to receive a green card.

Their families are also dependent on their work status. According to media reports, Dumala’s own immigration status had fallen into jeopardy after the murder of her husband. She eventually obtained a work visa of her own and was able to remain in the US.

Today is an ‘important day for many of us, a moment we have been waiting for years’, she posted on Facebook soon after the bill was passed in the House of Representatives.
“After the tragic murder of my husband, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, I lost my status to stay in the country and the immigration struggle took over my grief. And, today with HR 1044 getting passed I can finally find peace and no words can express my happiness,” she said in a statement released to the Kansas City Star.


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