Washington, July 12: In what could increase job opportunities for Indian techies in the United States, the US House of Representatives, on Wednesday, passed a bill that will remove an existing seven percent country cap on issuing green cards. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, if and when gets the nod of the Senate and US President Donald Trump, was passed by an overwhelming 365-65 margin in the Democrat-controlled House.
The bill eliminates the limits on the number of permanent residencies or green cards that can be given in a year to citizens of each country. Under the existing rules, the maximum number of green cards that can be granted to people from any country is seven percent of the total, which is about 26,000 annually. As many as 300,000 Indian H1-B temporary work visa holders are waiting to get green cards in the US. H-1B Visa Update: 'No Plan to Impose Caps', Says US Amid Reports of Restricting India's Share.
A similar bill is pending before the Senate and after that is passed, a reconciled version will be sent to President Trump. After he signs, the bill will become a law. The bill allows up to 85 percent of the green cards to be given to Indians and Chinese in the first two years and 90 percent in the third year in order to clear the backlog. This will definitely increase job opportunities and Indian techies who have backlogged the green card waiting lines. US Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Protect H4 Work Visa Of Spouses Of H1B Holders.
The legislation would come at a time when India has complained about the increased scrutiny and higher rates of denial of H1-B applications for Indian. And this has become a point of contention between the two countries. It is also possible that Trump may hold it up as negotiating ploy in the trade dispute. Right-wing groups ran an intense campaign against the bill alleging that the proposed law will let Indians “steal American jobs”.
The bill received the votes of 224 Democrats and 140 Republicans. It has been opposed by both the extreme left and the right. Two important leftist members, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, were among the eight Democrats who voted against it. On the Republican side, 57 voted against it.