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New bill gives 8-yr path to US citizenship

New bill gives 8-yr path to US citizenship
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New bill gives 8-yr path to US citizenship 

Highlights

Huge benefit to Indian IT professionals

Washington: In a major move that will benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals in America, the Biden administration has introduced an ambitious immigration bill in Congress which among other things proposes to eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based green cards.

The legislation, known as the US Citizenship Act of 2021, hews closely to the outline that Biden sent to Congress on his first day in office. The proposal includes an eight-year path to citizenship for most of the roughly 11 million immigrants living illegally in the US, bolsters the nation's refugee and asylum systems and calls for additional technology to be used to help secure the southern border.

The bicameral immigration bill, if passed by both the chambers of the Congress – House of Representatives and the Senate – and signed into law by President Joe Biden, would bring citizenship to millions of foreign nationals, including undocumented workers and those who came to the country legally.

The legislation would also benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals and their families. Those waiting for a Green Card for more than 10 years, would get the legal permanent residency immediately as they would be exempted from the visa cap.

Indian IT professionals, waiting for more than a decade now, and whose number runs into thousands, are likely to be the biggest beneficiary of this provision of the bill.

Authors of the bill – Senator Bob Menendez and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez – told reporters that the US Citizenship Act of 2021 establishes a moral and economic imperative and a vision of immigration reform that is expansive and inclusive.

It grows the economy by making changes to the employment-based immigration system, eliminating per-country caps, making it easier for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) advanced degree holders from US universities to stay in the US and improving access to green cards for workers in lower-wage industries. It would also give dependents of H1B holders work authorisation, and prevent children of H-1B holders from "ageing out" of the system.

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