h1b visa: New US Bill seeks to provide faster path to citizenship for H-1B visa holders

A new bill has been introduced in the US Senate which intends to offer citizenship to certain categories of people, and would benefit Indian tech workers in the US. Under the Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act, introduced on Wednesday an immigrant who has lived in the US continuously for a period of seven years could qualify for a green card.

This was introduced in the US Senate by Senator Alex Padilla and co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ben Ray Lujan and Dick Durbin on Wednesday. A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren who is also Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration.

The legislation would provide a pathway to getting a green card for up to eight million people, including H-1B visa holders, children of long term visa holders, dreamers and others. If approved, Indians could be among the biggest beneficiaries as they currently face wait times running into decades for permanent residency on account of country quotas.

ET Online

“Our outdated immigration system is hurting countless people and holding back America’s economy. My bill would update the Registry cutoff date for the first time in more than 35 years so that more immigrants can apply for legal permanent residence,” said Alex Padilla.

“This could have a profound impact on millions of immigrants, some who have been living, working, and contributing to the United States for decades, by allowing them to live freely without the fear of an uncertain future,” he said.

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It could still take time for this Bill to become reality. It has to first be agreed up and then passed by the Senate and House of Representatives before it can be signed into law by US President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services said that it would automatically extend the validity of permanent resident cards, or green cards for those who have filed the required form to 24 months. This has been done to deal with the long processing times that applicants are currently facing.

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