Friday, September 16, 2022

U.S. to make it easier for low-income immigrants to secure permanent residency; U.S. Expects to Use All Employment-Based Green Cards This Year

U.S. to make it easier for low-income immigrants to secure permanent residency:
The Biden administration will make it easier for low-income immigrants to become permanent U.S. residents through a new regulation in December that will mark a dramatic shift from strict Trump-era immigration requirements, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Thursday.
A DHS regulation set to take effect Dec. 23 will codify longstanding standards that dictate when immigrants can be considered an economic burden on the country, or a "public charge." An immigrant found to be a public charge would be disqualified from obtaining permanent residency, or a green card.
The Biden administration's new rules represent a significant departure from those put in place by former President Donald Trump on who falls into this category. During the Trump administration, DHS dramatically expanded the number and types of government benefits used by some immigrants that could make them ineligible for permanent residency.
Under the Trump-era rule — which took effect in 2020 after a months-long legal battle — the use of housing vouchers, food stamps and Medicaid could be counted against immigrants seeking green cards. The Trump regulation also created a new test that considered applicants' income, age, medical conditions, skills and family size to determine whether they were likely to rely on these benefits in the future.
Under the rule taking effect in December, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will only consider green card applicants a public charge if "they are likely at any time to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence."
That could be the case if they need long-term government-funded institutionalization or public cash-benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.--->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
U.S. Expects to Use All Employment-Based Green Cards This Year:
U.S. immigration authorities project that they will use up all the extra available employment-based green cards for the fiscal year ending this month, averting the risk that the government would for the second year running let thousands go to waste.
Typically, ​U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that processes green cards and other immigration applications, hands out about 140,000 employment-based green cards to foreign employees and their families, representing a fraction of demand that results in a decadelong wait for some applicants.
The Covid-19 pandemic created a once-in-a-generation opportunity where, for the past two years, about double the usual number of green cards became available.
The bumper crop in green cards came about because of a quirk in immigration law, where if any green cards in the family-based visa category go unused, those numbers switch over to the employment-based category the following year.
The situation represented a prime opportunity for Indian applicants, many of them working in the tech sector, who make up the most of the 1.4 million-person backlog but who must wait years longer than applicants of other nationalities because the number of slots allotted to each country is capped. --->READ MORE HERE
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