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Fairness of High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019 or HR 1044

Topics covered:

  1. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

Fairness of High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019 or HR 1044

 

What to study?

For prelims and mains: What is green card? Recent changes proposed and impact of these changes.

 

What is it? It is a Bill passed by the US lawmakers aimed at lifting the current seven per cent country-cap on issuing Green Cards.

 

Key changes proposed:

  • As per the present system, out of the total number of family-based immigrant visas to be given by the US in a particular year, the people of a country can be given a maximum of seven per cent of such visas. The new Bill seeks to increase this seven per cent per-country limit to 15 per cent.
  • Similarly, it also seeks to eliminate the seven per cent per-country cap on employment-based immigrant visas.
  • It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.
  • The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY 2020-22 by reserving a per centage 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 that get the largest number of such visas.
  • As per another provision of the Bill, not more than 85 per cent of the unreserved visas, would be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

 

Impact:

The Bill will create a first-come, first-served system providing certainty to workers and families and enabling the US companies to flourish and compete in a global economy as they hire the brightest people to create products, services, and jobs, regardless of where they were born.

 

How will this law help the Indian IT professionals working there?

Lifting the per-country cap on Green Card would mainly benefit high-tech professionals on H-1B work visas from countries like India, for whom the wait for Green Card is more than a decade.

Under current rules, citizens of India are getting about 25 percent of all the professional employment green cards each year. If this bill becomes law citizens of India will get more than 90 percent of the professional employment green cards.

 

Sources: the Hindu.