US Eases Green Card Rules, Helping Professionals Get Visas Faster

The Biden administration has released policy guidance, easing eligibility norms for Indian professionals waiting for Green Cards. The USCIS guidance offers relief to thousands of individuals facing lengthy waiting periods, allowing them to work and contribute to the United States.
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The Biden administration has taken a significant step towards easing eligibility norms for individuals awaiting green cards to work and reside in the United States. In a recent move, the administration released policy guidance, providing relief for Indian professionals who have been facing a long wait for Green Cards or permanent residency.

This action comes just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, scheduled from June 21-24, upon the invitation of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

Guidance from USCIS

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued specific guidance on the eligibility criteria for initial and renewal applications for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) under compelling circumstances.

This guidance is expected to offer assistance to thousands of Indian technology professionals who have been enduring lengthy waiting periods for Green Cards.

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Must Read: US to Expand Premium Processing For Green Card and Other Visa Categories

Understanding the Green Card System

A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document that grants immigrants the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. Each year, approximately 140,000 employment-based Green Cards are allocated under immigration law.

However, due to an annual limit of seven per cent per country, individuals from countries with high demand, like India, have faced significant delays in obtaining Green Cards.

Requirements for Green Card Eligibility

India & United States Flags

The USCIS guidance outlines specific requirements that applicants must meet to be eligible for an initial EAD based on compelling circumstances.

1. Approved Form I-140: Applicants must be the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, which is a petition for an immigrant worker.

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2. Valid Non-immigrant Status or Authorized Grace Period: Applicants must maintain valid non-immigrant status or be in an authorized grace period while applying for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

3. No Adjustment of Status Application: Applicants should not have filed an adjustment of status application, which is the process of changing their non-immigrant status to permanent resident status.

4. Biometrics and Criminal Background: Applicants must meet certain biometrics and criminal background requirements as determined by the USCIS.

5. Compelling Circumstances: The USCIS will exercise discretion in determining whether an applicant demonstrates compelling circumstances that justify the issuance of employment authorization. These circumstances may include serious illness or disability, employer disputes or retaliation, significant harm, or disruptions to employment.

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It’s important to note that these requirements are specific to initial EAD applications based on compelling circumstances.

Also Read: Green Card Process May Become Easier as US Considers Abolishing Per-Country Quota System

Qualifying Circumstances and Evidence

The USCIS has provided a non-exhaustive list of qualifying circumstances, offering individuals an opportunity to present evidence supporting their case.

Individuals with approved immigrant visa petitions in oversubscribed categories or chargeability areas may submit evidence such as school or higher education enrollment records, mortgage records, or long-term lease records to demonstrate compelling circumstances.

Conclusion

The Biden administration’s easing of Green Card eligibility norms brings hope for Indian professionals who have been waiting for an extended period to obtain permanent residency. With these new guidelines in place, it is expected that more individuals will have the opportunity to work and contribute to the United States, fostering a diverse and skilled workforce.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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