Millions of people stuck for years in the employment-based Green Card backlog in the US, including a sizable number of Indians, can hope for a lawful permanent residency in America by paying a supplemental fee if a new House bill is passed into law.
The move, if included in the reconciliation package and passed into law, is expected to help thousands of Indian IT professionals who are currently stuck in an agonising Green Card backlog.
According to the committee print released by the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration, an employment-based immigrant applicant with a “priority date that is more than 2 years before” can adjust to permanent residence without numerical limits by paying a “supplemental fee of $5,000.”
The fee is $50,000 for the EB-5 category (immigrant investors). The provisions expire in 2031, the Forbes magazine reported.
For a family-based immigrant who is sponsored by a US citizen and with a “priority date that is more than 2 years before”, the fee for getting a Green Card would be USD 2,500.
The supplement fee would be $1,500 if an applicant’s priority date is not within two years but they are required to be present in the country, according to the committee print. This fee would be in addition to any administrative processing fee paid by the applicant.
However, the bill does not contain permanent structural changes to the legal immigration system, including eliminating country caps for green cards or increasing the annual quotas of H-1B visas.
Before becoming law, the provisions would have to pass the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives and the Senate and be signed by the president, the report said.
According to a report in CBSNews, if successful, the legalisation plan would allow undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries, farmworkers and other pandemic-era essential workers to apply for permanent US residency, or green cards.