A cohort of influential elected representatives in the United States (US) have introduced a bill in the Congress to reactivate almost 4,00,000 unused family and employment-based visas, reported news agency PTI.
The objective of the bill is to reduce a massive Green Card backlog, something that particularly affects Indian and Chinese immigrants.
It is known as the Jumpstart our Legal Immigration System Act, and has been introduced by House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren.
"The Jumpstart our Legal Immigration System Act will help reduce the backlogs, thereby enabling immigrants to fully contribute to their communities and our national economy, while also allowing the US companies to attract and retain high-skilled workers. That will enhance our country's competitive advantage and our position as a global leader in innovation."Zoe Lofgren, House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair
The bill proposes to recapture more than 2,20,000 unused family-sponsored visas and around just less than 1,60,000 employment-based visas.
It would also permit immigrant US residents to be eligible for adjustment to Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status to apply for adjustment after paying. As of now, this is not possible due to the unavailability of a visa number.
"We all know that our immigration system is dysfunctional and it has been in dire need of reform for decades," Lofgren said.
"The basic framework for allocating immigrant visas dates back to the middle of the 20th century and was updated last seriously in 1990 when Congress established the worldwide numerical limits on visas and the 7 per cent per-country cap that still exists today. Over time, these limitations have led to backlogs that were unimaginable in 1990," she added.
(With inputs from PTI.)