Indian IT may get a RAISE with this Policy
Trump backs bill proposing merit-based system, which favours English-speaking skilled workers
New Delhi: After a series of bad news for the employees of the $150-billion Indian software services industry, immigration experts are saying that US President Donald Trump’s support to the legislation proposing moving to a “merit-based” system, favouring English-speaking skilled workers, for residency cards will benefit India.
The legislation, titled the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE), would cut in half the number legal immigrants allowed into the US, if passed by the Congress and signed into law.
Experts said that most Indians are Englishspeaking and many have a Master’s degree, increasing their chances of getting a green card. “You can say that there is a ray of hope… This is a silver-lining to the horrible black cloud of the proposed RAISE Act,” said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at LawQuest, an immigration law firm with offices in the US and India. The RAISE Act, when passed, would replace the current lottery system in the US and instead institute a points-based system for earning a green card. Factors such as English-language skills, education, high-paying job offers and age would be taken into account while considering applications.
There are scores of Indians who go to the US on work visas and later apply for the green card but the cumbersome process may ease a little now. A recent study by Pew Research said that there is a lengthy12-year waiting period for Indians applying for permanent residency or the green card in the US.
In 2015, about 36,318 Indians adjusted their status to permanent residency while 27,798 Indians are new arrivals who received lawful permanent residency in the form of a green card, Pew Research said.
India is also among the top countries whose residents get green cards every year and the report said that from fiscal 2010 to 2014, about 36% of employment-related green cards – over 2,22,000 - were granted to H-1B visa holders. Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice-president of Nasscom said that this legislation deals with the permanent residency. “Lots of Indians are in the queue for it, anything that helps streamline the process is welcome. But it also cut downs the overall numbers by half so how it pans out has to be seen.” Shivendra Singh, Nasscom’s vice-president for global trade added that this bill deals doesn’t deal with non-immigrant visa and therefore doesn’t have direct implications on the industry. “We will have to see how it goes since it is still a bill and a lot goes into a bill before becoming a law.”
DONALDTRUMP US President The RAISE Act will reduce poverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars