White House body’s move over Green Card application may benefit several thousand Indians
A White House commission has recommended issuing an employment authorisation card and other necessary travel documents at the preliminary stage of the Green Card application processing system.
India Weekly Staff
A WHITE House commission has recommended issuing an employment authorisation card and other necessary travel documents at the preliminary stage of the Green Card application processing system, a proposal if approved by the US president would be a big relief to thousands of foreign professionals, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indians.
A recommendation on this was approved by the White House Commission for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Affairs on Thursday (26).
A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.
There are multiple stages in the Green Card application process, and it starts with employers filing I-140 applications, and the next important step is an adjustment of status called I485. This is when they currently get their Employment Authorisation Card – EAD and travel documents Advance Parole, which allows them to work for any employer till their Green Card application is processed, explained Indian American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria who moved the recommendation during the latest meeting of AANHPI this week.
If the proposal accepted by US President Joe Biden would come as a big relief to hundreds and thousands of foreign professionals, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indian Americans whose Green Card wait period now runs into decades.
During the meeting, Bhutoria, who is a member of the White House Commissioner for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Affairs moved the recommendation.
According to it, the department of homeland security’s US Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS USCIS) should grant employment authorisation documents (EADs) and travel documents to individuals who have approved I-140 employment-based visa petitions in the EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 categories, who have been waiting in the visa backlog for five or more years, regardless of whether they have filed applications for adjustment of status.
The validity of the EAD and travel documents should be till their Green card application final stage is processed, said the recommendation, which now has been accepted by the Commission. Since only a limited number of green cards can be issued every year, there is a backlog of over 1.8 million Green Card applications and this impacts primarily people from AAPI countries including China, the Philippines, and India, among others.
Processing may take 5-20 years and in some cases over 50 years. Based on the current backlog situation, people may not get their green cards in their lifetime, Bhutoria said.
So the worker has to continue working for the same employer often in the same position for many years facing discrimination and exploitation, he said, adding that often they end up working for positions and compensation much lower than their skills, potential and experience.