September 21, 2023

Under the administration of Joe Biden, the present backlog for US Green Card applicants from India has reached an astonishing 195 years, causing significant distress and uncertainty for Indian professionals, especially those in the tech industry. This backlog is a consequence of the seven per cent country cap on employment-based Green Card allocation, which has resulted in severe repercussions for countries like India.

Impact on Indian Tech Professionals: Country Cap Consequences under Joe Biden

The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS USA) has emphasized that this backlog disproportionately impacts Indian tech professionals who play a crucial role in maintaining the United States’ competitive edge in technology industries. However, the backlog obstructs these talented individuals from contributing meaningfully to the country’s growth and innovation.

FIIDS USA Advocacy for Indian Tech Professionals under Joe Biden

In response to this issue, a bipartisan group of 56 US lawmakers, led by Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Larry Bucshon, have urged President Joe Biden and his administration to take executive action to make priority dates current for Green Card applicants from India. They believe this action will reduce the 195-year-long wait period and backlog, providing relief to high-skilled employment-based visa holders.

Lawmakers Urge Joe Biden for Relief for Indian Green Card Applicants

Joe Biden

The lawmakers have also appealed to the administration to designate all dates for filing employment-based visa applications as “current”. This would allow applications to be filed regardless of applicants’ country-based priority date, potentially making some eligible for employment authorization documents to modify jobs, start businesses, and travel abroad without penalty.

Addressing the Backlog: Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Visa Application Appeal

Aman Kapoor, President of Immigration Voice, has called this proposal a “game changer” for nearly one million high-skilled immigrants whose status in the US can end at any moment and is entirely dependent on their employer. He criticized the current “biased” immigration system that requires Indian nationals to wait “200 years for a Green Card while people from 150 other countries have no wait at all”.

Game Changer: Joe Biden’s Call for Equal Rights for High-Skilled Immigrants

The entire foundation of this problem is a “biased” immigration system that requires Indian nationals to have to wait “200 years for a Green Card while people from 150 other countries have no wait at all”, Kapoor said.

Challenges in Immigration System: Green Card Wait Disparity under Joe Biden

“We now call on the Biden administration to do the right thing and heed the call of this rare bipartisan letter and give high-skilled immigrants here for over a decade the same rights to work and travel that people being paroled into the US for the first time just this week have,” he said.

“We are no less deserving of basic human rights and fairness than anyone else, and we hope the Biden administration will agree,” Kapoor said.

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