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Professionals from India happy with the Latest Immigration Policy of President Trump

February 2018, 05
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The USA is the most valued destination for many Indian immigrants. The recent arguments over immigration stand removed now and President Trump's has focussed in his first State of the Union address, on a plan to advocate merit-based immigration system. He has said that this was the time to move towards an immigration system which is merit-based and admits skilled people who desire to work and contribute to the society. Besides, the visa lottery program will end and the family-based migration will be limited.

These developments are pleasant for thousands of skilled Indians, who are patiently waiting for green cards.  There was an official White House communication insisting that there was a need to enact common-sense reforms and adopt an immigration system based on individual skill and merit. 

Backlogs of Green Card

The White House states that Owing to the excess low-skilled immigrants reaching the US there are suppressed wages, which harm American workers and strain the federal resources.

Canada and Australia have adopted an immigration system based on merit which benefits the immigrants as well as the nations. The immigration system must be based on the ability to make a contribution to America, based on the education and skills of the immigrant. 

Shalabh Kumar, Founder Hindu Republican Coalition, stated that there are nearly 1 million H-1B visa holders in the US belonging to India who can be potential immigrants. They are holders of advanced degrees from US universities and have a good work experience.  The US economy requires their services but they have to wait for long periods before they can obtain green cards and then citizenship.

There is a problem of chain migration, or family-based migration, of uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews, for the skilled immigrants.  Out of the 10,60,000 green cards that are issued annually, 1,20,000 are meant for employment-based skilled workers. The remaining is taken up by unskilled workers. The Bill on Immigration Reforms needs to be passed, only by seeking the support of the Democrats. 

There are professionals who work in the underserved areas, or in areas with projected shortages, but are daunted by the green card backlogs, and have to wait for H-1B visa for an indefinite period. They hold master's degrees from prominent US universities publish academic papers, have professional certifications in an area of expertise. They must be hired solely for their skills, qualifications, and experience.

Waiting Period

South Asian Americans Leading Together is a non-profit organization which promotes racial justice and civil rights of South Asians. There is a focus on the segment of the South Asian community which is undocumented and they advocate Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. At present, there are many legal immigration issues. The members of Congress and the White House propose many legislation and administrative changes to curtail legal immigration by half. Such proposals and the backlogs make immigration a dull prospect.

The Hindu American Foundation is active in advocating various immigration issues and works against denying extensions of H-1B visas to applicants for a green card. The applicants of the Green card include investors, special immigrants, and religious workers. When they are stuck professionally in the process of the green card application or have spouses who cannot work in their waiting period they become disenchanted for their dream to settle.

There are efforts to create awareness on the waiting time of green cards faced by Indians. The members meet senators and Congressmen and talk about the uncertainty of their lives.

There is a feeling that the US immigration system is not fostering any innovation. The waiting period in green card queues disallows changing of jobs or role changes and to start anything new. They are not able to have any long-term plan for anything. 

There is a cruel circle of visa extensions and maintaining the visa status.

The L-1 intracompany transferee visa serves as an alternative, but the applicant has to work in the Indian based parent/subsidiary/branch for one year before qualifying for the L-1 visa. The person needs to work in an executive or managerial, post or in a specific knowledge capacity in an Indian entity. Many employees do not qualify for the L-1 visa.

All Indian IT companies must be careful and defer a decision regarding giving any US assignment to their employees on H-1B visas. There is a hope that the US government is set to announce a few changes. There will be a change in the staffing pattern. There is an interest and for the investment-based EB-5 visas is popular with H-1B workers based in the US. They are required to invest $5, 00,000 in a regional center to secure a good future. There is a skill gap in the US and it needs Indian professionals in IT, as well as professors, doctors, teachers, and researchers in the STEM. It is hoped that the government will place rules to meet the requirements of qualified professionals who are from India.

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