A United States presidential advisory commission has unanimously voted in favour of a recommendation to President Joe Biden for processing all applications seeking green cards within six months, PTI reported on Monday.
A green card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, allows a person to live and work permanently in the United States. A green card holder can apply for citizenship of the country five years after getting the status of a permanent resident.
The US President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, or PACAANHPI, has made the recommendation to the Biden administration.
Indian-American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria had moved the proposal during a meeting of the commission last week, and all 25 commissioners approved it. The recommendation will be sent to the White House for approval.
The commission advised the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to review their processes and establish new time goals. It recommended that the authority should remove any redundant steps, automate any manual approvals and improve their internal dashboards to ensure quicker processing of applications, according to PTI.
The PACAANHPI also recommended that the United States’ National Visa Center should hire more officers and increase the capacity to process green card interviews by 100% in three months starting from August.
“Thereafter Green Card visa interviews and visa processing timeline should be a maximum of six months,” PTI quoted the commission as saying.
Every year, the United States issues 1,40,000 green cards, but only up to 7% of such cards are granted to applicants from a single country in one year. As many as 3,57,720 Indians were unable to complete applications for employment-based green cards because of a backlog in processing the applications, the Economic Times reported on December 29.
United States Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has sponsored a Bill – the Jumpstart our Legal Immigration System Act – which seeks to prevent the loss of unused employment-based visas, according to The Times of India. This is to be done by ensuring that the employment-based visas roll over to family-based categories.