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Indians likely to benefit as Trump unveils new immigration policy for merit-based professionals

Trump has said he will replace the existing green cards with 'Build America' visa.

ET Bureau|
Updated: May 17, 2019, 11.05 PM IST
PUNE & BENGALURU: Indian nationals are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of US President Donald Trump’s new plan to change the system that allows foreign immigrants to become permanent residents in the country.

Trump proposal for a point-based system means people with skills will be preferred for permanent residency as against the current country-based quotas that favours family ties for green cards. Under the plan, 57% of the proportion of green cards, or lawful permanent residence status, will be given to people with skill-based visas as against the 12% currently.

The point-based system is similar to what Canada, Australia and New Zealand follow, which means skilled workers get a faster route to permanent residency status in the US.

“We cherish the open door that we want to create for our country, but a big proportion of those immigrants must come in through merit and skill,” said Trump.

Currently, it takes an Indian national at least nine-and-a half-year on average to get a green card.

“If this proposal becomes law it will obviously help Indian H-1B visa holders because it will probably do away with a lot of the green card backlog. There are a finite number of US Green Cards and they are taken by family-based petitioners,” said Vivek Tandon, founder of EB5 BRICS and an immigration advisor.

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