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iWorld / News / USA

Increasing the number of green cards: Biden's immigration law


4 minutes read

According to Boundless estimations, the green card will provide even more immigrants with permanent residence in America. It is expected that the number of issued Green Cards will increase to 375,500 annually, provided that the U.S. authorities adopt the updated Citizenship Act. Eventually, the total number of foreigners in the United States will be about 1.5 million people. Currently, the standard figure stands at about 1.1 million green cards, as the annual five-year average for 2014-2018 shows.

The greatest progress is expected in employment categories and the Diversity Visa immigration program. If the bill passes, an additional 80,000 aliens with advanced degrees would be able to obtain permanent residence in the United States. Over 78,000 employees in priority categories (immigrants of exceptional skills, university professors, researchers, executives and managers of international firms) would be able to exercise the same right. Diversity Visa volume will more than double, from 50,000 to nearly 120,000 a year.

What has changed in the U.S. Citizenship Act?

The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) forecasted a lower annual growth rate for Green Cards (28%). NFAP only took 2016 data as a key indicator, while Boundless used information about the increase in other visa groups. In particular, Type U visa holders (victims of crimes cooperating with the law) were also taken into account. Boundless, based on NFAP's assumptions, named the most in-demand categories.

Under the U.S. Citizenship Act, the primary changes to immigration would affect:

  • Spouses and minor children of permanent residents. This group of aliens would be exempt from the restrictions, and visitors would enjoy the same benefits as American citizens.
  • Immigrant Employees. Green cards for the spouse and minor children of an immigrant worker will no longer be limited. The government will also provide more Green Cards for "special immigrants", that is, Syrian nationals, who helped the U.S. military, and workers without a university degree. U.S. graduates with PhDs in STEM (technology, science, engineering, mathematics) fields are not taken into account by the country's authorities when issuing a Green Card.
  • Visa holders of different types. When calculating the annual green card limits, U.S. authorities will not count the spouse and minor children of the principal applicant.
  • Humanitarian Entry Permit Holders. The U.S. government plans to issue more U-visas and Green Cards to victims of domestic violence and other crimes, to those, who assist law enforcement bodies.

What are the reasons for the immigration policy changes?

Doug Rand, co-owner of Boundless and an immigration specialist, notes the optional use of the entire stock of green cards, despite the increase in the annual cap on their issuance. Currently, America provides fewer immigrant visas than other nations. For example, Canada and Australia grant visas twice as often, and New Zealand three times as often (when adjusting for population).

The National Immigration Forum reports that due to the falling birth rate in the United States, the government needs to increase the annual flow of foreigners by 37%. By doing so, the U.S. authorities will be able to maintain the current age dependency ratio by 2060 and reduce the adverse effects of the demographic crisis.

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