- The US President has decided to announce a new proposal to overhaul the country’s immigration policy.The policy would give preference to foreigners based on merit rather than the existing system that gives preference to family ties.
- Currently,about 12% of those receiving green cards entered the U.S. based on skill-based visas such as the H1B visas while some 66% are family-based green cards.
- The proposed system is similar to the point-based system of countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.The proposal will increase skills-based green cards to close to 60%.Points will be awarded to applicants based on their education, work experience, age and English language ability.
- The proposal also seeks to discontinue the diversity lottery system for green cards which currently makes 50,000 green cards available to under-represented groups each year.
- Further,the second part of the proposal seeks to reduce illegal migration to the U.S. by building physical barriers in sections of the southern border with Mexico.It will also make it harder for individuals to claim asylum which is a right under U.S. and international law.
- The proposed policy is likely to benefit Indian professionals on H-1B visa whose current Green Card wait on an average is more than a decade.
- The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
- Dependents of H-1B visa holders get H-4 visas.Green Card is an identification card which gives one the status of a permanent resident along with legal rights to work in the USA.
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