Indians in line for employment-based green cards in the US could benefit from President Donald Trump’s recent proclamation suspending issue of new permanent residence permits, according to experts.

At the end of the fiscal year in September, unused family-based green card numbers rolls over to the employment-based quotas for the next fiscal year starting October 1, as per current rules.

“Due to the green card proclamation ban, we are expecting to have advancement in the priority dates, which would allow many who are in the US to be able to file for the final step of the green card process,” said Nandini Nair, immigration partner at law firm Greenspoon Marder.

This will especially help advance priority dates for Indians.Indians are currently the largest nationality group in line for employment-based green cards. Estimates put the number at about 300,000. Most of these are people who travelled to the US on a H-1B visa and have since applied for a change in status. Because of the large numbers and country quotas, the wait times for Indians can extend significantly.

“Right now, they are on a hold pattern and are unable to file for the last step to get their green cards,” she said.

Employment-based green cards are capped at 140,000 annually with a 7% per-country limit.

According to latest data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a rollover of about 110,000 green cards is indicated for next year, immigration attorneys said.

“There is a 7% limit in this larger pool. That means 5,000 for India, for example. But, when the numbers aren’t used by “Rest of World” they get to be used by the backlogged people,” tweeted Greg Siskind, founding partner, Siskind Susser PC.

The numbers for the ‘ROW’ is up to date for the EB-1 and EB-2 categories, while there is a 15-month backlog for EB-3. This means, most of the rollover numbers are likely to go to the EB-3 category. This would result in much of the backlog clearing up, making dates more easily available to people who are still waiting, Siskind said.

The Fairness for High Skilled Workers Act, or S386, which was blocked by the US Senate last week, is expected to help eliminate the green card backlog.

News Source: Economic Times


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