20:08 GMT +318 July 2019
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    Highly-Skilled Indian Professionals Set to Gain From US Lift in Green Card Cap

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Lawmakers from the US House of Representatives have passed a bill that will lift the current seven percent per country cap on the issuing of Green Cards.

    The bill was passed by an overwhelming majority of 365-65 votes in the 435-member House.

    A Green Card allows a person from another country to live and work permanently in the United States.

    According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services rules and regulations the seven percent cap on Green Cards was applicable to citizens of another independent country in a given fiscal year.

    As per details provided by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the non-partisan public policy research arm of the United States Congress, the passing of this bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from seven to 15 percent annually.

    It also eliminates the seven percent cap for employment-based immigrant visas and removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for Chinese citizens.

    The United States Senate also has to pass the bill before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.

    On becoming law, the Fairness of High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019, also known as HR 1044, would give hope to talented professionals from countries like India who aspire to permanent residency and work permits in the United States.

    The draft Fairness of High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019 establishes transition rules for employment-based visas by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers) and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals from other than the two countries (India and China) that get the largest number of such visas.

    The bill also stipulates that no more than 85 percent of unreserved visas would be given to immigrants from any one country.

    An identical bill sponsored by senators Kamala Harris and Mike Lee is likely to be taken up. Senate Bill S386 currently has 34 co-sponsors.

    Congressman John Curtis said the bill will enable American companies to flourish and compete in a global economy as they hire the brightest people from other countries to create products, services, and jobs.

    A section of netizens has hailed the passage of the bill, with one of them describing it as an “incredible” step for both Indians and Chinese citizens who normally have to wait between 10 to 15 years to get a Green Card.

    #Indians to benefit as #US House passes #bill removing 7% country-cap on #GreenCard https://t.co/qIiGzdCX9t

    ​Others objected strongly to the passing of the bill. One of them described it as a case of “flawed logic, flawed math”, while another said it was an unfair draft legislation.

    Joseph S Joh, Assistant Director and Senior Advisor in the Office of Legislative Affairs of the US Department of Homeland Security, said the bill would not help move the current employment-sponsored system toward a more merit-based system.

    Top American IT companies like Microsoft have welcomed the passage of the bill and called on the US Senate to pass it at the earliest date.

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