Relaxation in rules for issuance of H1B visa, Green Card expected

The US government plans to shorten the length of visa issuance and also extend the length of work permits after receiving recommendations from local authorities. It will benefit Indians. Every year, a large number of Indian nationals turn to the US Embassy or Consulate for visas, believing that employment in the US is easier compared to other countries.

The US government has made some changes and simplifications in the H1B and Green Card laws to make Indians happier. The government’s National Visa Center has recommended consolidating green card applications through large-scale appointments. It was recommended that 100% Visa interviews be conducted every three months from August 2022. The government has been recommended to reduce the processing time for issuance of green cards and H1B visas to 6 months.

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The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders released its opening report on Friday. The report was approved on May 12 and delivered to the President on August 24, and the White House Home Affairs Council is currently reviewing its recommendations before they can be sent to President Joe Biden for decision.

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The report notes that due to the COVID-19-related shutdown and staffing restrictions, as well as the ongoing impact of the 2017 travel bans, processing green cards up to the annual cap has been difficult. It recommends that the US Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) should hire additional officials to increase its capacity to process green card application interviews by 100% in three months from August 2022 and increase the number of green card applications and Increase visa interviews and decision-making 150% by August 2023.

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The committee said in the report that green card visa interviews and visa processing times should be capped at a target of six months. The commission recommends that to reduce the agency’s outstanding family-based green card backlog, U.S. citizenship and immigration services should review their processes, systems and policies, and set new internal cycle time targets by streamlining processes, removing redundant steps and automating manual ones where necessary permits.

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The report states that of the 226,000 green cars available in fiscal 2021, only 65,452 family-based green cards were issued.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) will continue to process applications beyond the six-month target and will make timely decisions when a question is asked or more information is needed.

After the US government approves the new recommendations, Indians will find it easier to obtain visas and green cards.

With inputs from PTI

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