Last week, the White House helped the US Congress pass a bill that would do away with the per-country cap on green card issuance. The legislation, if passed, will enable US employers to prioritise hiring individuals based on “merit” rather than “birthplace,” which is likely to benefit Indian-Americans. The EAGLE Act of 2022, or (Equal Access to Green Card for Legal Employment), will soon be put to a vote in the House of Representatives.
An immigrant who receives a green card, also known as a permanent resident card, is able to live and work permanently in the United States. The card is used to show that the holder has been granted the right to live permanently.
Having a green card has a number of advantages, including a path to citizenship, the ability to sponsor members of one’s immediate family for the same card, easy access to the social security system and educational assistance, the freedom to live anywhere in the US, greater career flexibility due to the ability to apply for a variety of jobs, and the ability to sponsor family members for the same card.
By removing the “per country” restriction on employment-based immigrant visas (green cards), the Act aims to enable US employers to “focus on hiring immigrants based on merit, not their birthplace.” The legislation intends to phase out the per-country caps over a nine-year period in order to lessen the impact on less populous nations and ensure that eligible immigrants from these nations are not disqualified when the Act is put into effect.
In order to meet the demand for nurses and physical therapists in the healthcare industry, as well as “for employment-based immigrants and their family members who are not currently in the United States,” some visas will be set aside for these individuals during the transition period, according to a statement released by the Executive Office of the President.
The enhancement of the H-1B specialty occupation visa programme is a secondary objective of the EAGLE Act 2022. The recruitment requirements would be tightened, US worker protections would be strengthened, and transparency would be increased, among other things.