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INDIANS-H1B to Green Card-12 years or more. IS IT WORTH IT ?
Permanent residence for an Indian in the USA is a valuable asset. Many potential immigrants from India want to acquire that asset and become valuable members of American society. However the H1B path is a long and enduring journey which raises uncertainty issues around marriage, family etc. ; which is part and parcel of life as an
For an Indian, the H1B path puts them in the awkward position of having their visa status tied to their job until their green card is approved. The queue for H1B workers from India to get green cards stretches back to 2002. An Indian H1B visa holder who has been working in the US since before the Google IPO likely still doesn’t have their green card.
United States Immigration Reform
- House Bill
The House version of the bill currently increases H1B to 195,000. The bill eliminates per-country limits, but it increases EB green cards by only 30,000, without any of the green card reform that the Senate bill does. Moreover, in addition to not improving the EB green card system and reducing backlogs and retrogression, the bill has H1 increase quota and no real green card increase quota .
Estimates suggest that over 20 years, the House bill will add 14 million immigrants on H1/L1 visa, with only 3.3 million EB green cards over the same period. More and more people will come into the H1B to Green Card system and get stuck in jobs that they cannot leave while they wait for green cards.
- Bigger Backlogs
Compared to Senate bill, the House bill will have around 350,000 fewer EB green cards annually. However, the bill has to have proportional increase in green cards to match H1B quota increase. Otherwise it creates a bottle-neck where new applicants join the queue faster than old applicants leave the queue. Are the current backlogs huge ? Compared that with EB system with around 10 million fewer EB green cards over 20 years.
The H1B quota goes up without a proportional increase in green card quota, which will be a backlog for several more years.
Australia has a robust Grading Points test skilled migration program for direct entry into Australia. The Federal Government decides on a Skilled Occupation list which it legislates by an Instrument. The selections process is points tested based on Qualifications, Work experience, English proficiency, Age.
Each State is also allocated its own quota for visas. Further the individual states are authorised to make their own Skilled Occupation list. and specify the years of Experience and English language score required from each individual.
Information Technology Occupations are both on the Federal and State list of occupations in demand.
The process of securing an Australian Residency involves a skills assessment of qualifications and/or experience, applying for an Expression of Interest, receiving an invitation to apply from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship , applying for a visa against the invitation and finally the grant of the visa. Based on present information (experience) the time period is between 6-12 months.*
The alternate approach is to receive a State Sponsorship which receives the highest priority in processing under the Minister of Immigration & Citizenship Directions.
The new Expression of Interest policy in its infancy as it commenced from 1st July 2012. As time goes by the processing time will increase.
FLOW CHART :
Permanent Residence (similar to US Green Card)
Estimated processing time based on present law : 6-12 months.
All timings are based on present case scenario, which are subject to change in future depending on the applications lodged and/or periodic changes in Immigration Law.
INDIAN IT PROFESSIONAL’S CHOICE
Indian IT professionals have a choice to make
a) Wait for 12 years with the same sponsor to secure the Green Card
b) Apply to Australia and secure permanent residence in less than 12 months
c) Secure Australian permanent residence, apply for citizenship in 4 years, and have an option to return to the USA on an E3 work visa sponsored by an Employer (only for Australians) or an E 2 investment Treaty visa to set up their own businesses.
The present demand for IT workers in Australia may not last long and Indian workers should take advantage of the present shortage of IT skills in Australia, a stable economy a stable country to raise children, free schooling in Government schools, subsidised University Education and free medicare. Australia is a country that never went into recession during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
Disclaimer : The above is not legal Advice.
For further information on Australian Immigration Law contact:
Glenn Joseph Pereira
B.Sc., D.A.M., LL.B. (Gen), F.NMIS (Bom), FICS (Lon)
Australian Registered Migration Agent 9251523 (since 1992)
Dagama Pereira & Associates P/L Australia