There is an estimated 450,000 – 550,000 applicants and dependents of Indian origin on H-1B and H4 waiting for a Green Card. The quota for EB3 India and EB2 India is only 2800 per year approximately for each category. The wait time for an applicant with priority date in 2019 is approximately 60-75 years.
HR1044 was introduced in the house to remove the per country quota and passed by a 365-65 margin landslide victory. Immigration associations tried to rush the counterpart bill S386 in the senate after their victory in the house. This was a very bad move.
For a bill to be introduced in the house and to go for a vote a minimum of 290 co-sponsors are required. For a bill to be introduced in the senate and to go for a vote a minimum of 60 co-sponsors are required.
A cloture motion to bring the bill to vote in the senate can be invoked if 60 senators agree to the motion. Otherwise 99% bills die in committee reviews and senate holds like S386. This will prevent 1 or 2 senators from putting a hold and blocking a bill.
HR1044 had 211 co-sponsors in the house while the senate counterpart S386 had only 34 co-sponsors.
S386 was initially blocked by Senator Rand Paul in the senate. He wanted a provision of a special quota of green cards for nurses. A provision to give green cards for 5000 bills was added to the bill.
Then Senator David Purdue put a hold that Georgia rural healthcare may have a worker shortage even though the 5000 quota for healthcare workers already covered that issue.
After Senator David Purdue removed the hold Senator Durbin put a hold now. Senator Durbin went on record in newspaper interviews and townhall meetings that it would not be fair to give green cards to Indians and Chinese while other countries must wait for the Indian and Chinese backlog to clear.
He felt that Indians and Chinese took most of the H-1B quota and now want to a take a large chunk of green cards too. He agreed to remove dependents from green cards annual quota but that would not reduce the backlog significantly.
S386 must pass in senate by Dec 13th of this year or immigration associations should work to have 60 co-sponsors in the senate before introducing a bill again next year. There is a very good chance that the bill would pass if it comes for a vote again in the house and senate before May 2020.
H-1B employees should be patient for the next 6 months before making any career changes to avoid losing this green card opportunity.
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Press release by: Indian Clicks, LLC