Providing Perspective on Potential Solutions to U.S. Visa Backlogs. Too Soon to Raise Your Hopes!

Providing perspective on potential solutions to U.S. visa backlogs. Too soon to raise your hopes!

A US presidential advisory commission has voted to streamline the green card process, which, if implemented, will hugely reduce wait times for Indian applicants. The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI) has voted to reduce green card processing time to six months – currently, Indians face wait times of over a decade for their permanent residence permit. These recommendations will be sent to President Joe Biden, who may then implement them through an executive order.

“These are recommendations and will require government action and/or agency policy changes to have an impact,” said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at LawQuest, an immigration law firm. “If it does gain traction and even if a few changes are implemented it would benefit Indians who are in the green card queue.”

The Immigration and Citizenship Sub-committee approved a set of recommendations which are now to be presented for further approval. One of these is a recommendation to reduce internal processing times for family green card applications. Indian applicants face the highest wait times on account of the annual country cap and the high number of applicants.

Others include reducing the visa backlog by expanding staffing and modernizing processes at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reduce wait times, expanding premium processing services, providing automatic work permit renewals and quickly processing work permits and other immigration applications.

It also recommends that the USCIS and Department of State issue new public charge policies that support Asian American and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander immigrant families accessing health and well-being supports, and partner with other federal agencies and community organizations to engage in outreach to these communities.

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