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The US is Warm Towards Talented Indians, and plans Merit-Based Immigration System

February 2018, 10
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The US government has decided to draft a new immigration policy, to end the practice of allotting permanent legal residency, using the 7% per country quota. In its place, it will give importance to immigration on merit basis.

The US President remarked that it was the best time to have an immigration system, based on merit, which considers the needs of a modern economy, and selects fresh immigrants, depending upon their ability, in supporting themselves financially, and for making constructive contributions to its society.

This plan appears to be a protectionist measure, not in favor of the immigrants but may benefit talented Indians in obtaining Visas. This framework would close the lottery program of issuing visas, and reallocate some of them, in reducing the present backlog, of high-skilled, job-based immigrant cases.

A report suggests that Indian-Americans are highly skilled, but suffer owing to the present (lottery-based) merit system, which is managed on the 7% per-country quota basis. The waiting period, required for Indians, to obtain green cards, could run up to 70 years. In case, the fresh immigration policy is introduced, there will be a significant reduction, in the backlogs of high-skilled, job-based immigrant cases.

Presently, many Indians in the technology sector are apprehensive, regarding getting deported, owing to the expected changes in immigration policy, leading to a denial of an extension of H-1B visas. On January 20th, the USCIS issued a clarification that it was not considering any such proposal. This was a matter of relief to 400,000 Indians, who presently reside in the US, using the H-1B visa, and wait for their Green Cards.

Jeff Sessions, US Attorney General, stated that Immigration, was an issue of national security, and only an immigration system, based on merit, could serve the national interest well.

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