House panel blocks green card spill over of family based to employment based visa in October
In what may spell bad news for Indians who were eyeing the green card spill over, a House panel has approved a measure to preserve the green card numbers at the end of current fiscal year.
The House Appropriations Committee approved on July 13 Fiscal Year 2022 Homeland Security Funding Bill, including an amendment to preserve green card numbers for employment-based, family-based and diversity visa lottery.
Now how this affects Indians is that this would simply mean that Indian employment based visa holders will lose the benefit of family based employment based visa spillover of 150,000 green cards in October 2021.
If the family based spill over is allowed, employment based visa holders most of whom are Indians in a green card backlog would have stood a chance to use these unused green cards.
Now like any other bill, this bill too has to be passed by the full House and the Senate for it to become a law.
What exactly is a green card spillover
If you are wondering what exactly is a green card spillover for employment based visas and how it works, here’s a breakdown.
According to US immigration law there is a set limit on the number of green cards every year for each country through employment based green cards in EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 categories. The number of green cards that can be allotted each year on employment based visas is 140,000.
Now, since each country has a cap of seven percent for each category, in certain countries like India and China the number of applicants is much higher than the available green card cap.
In most other countries the number of applicants falls short of the available limit. The unused green cards fall in the Rest of the World category. Certain unused categories like unused EB-4 and EB-5 spill over to EB-1 and unused EB-1 spill over to EB-2.
Due to the heavy backlog, India continues to be the most retrogressive country and therefore this spill over, if allowed, could have been good news for Indians waiting for green cards.
However, as they say there is a silver lining in every cloud, the other news is that the current spill over of no less than 122,000 received in the employment based category in October 2020 for fiscal year 2021 should be made available in September 2021.
Back in 2020 too there was an attempt to hold back the family based green cards spill overs to go to the employment-based category, but this could not get a go ahead in the Senate leading to an eventual spill over.
This time around too, there is a hope that this may eventually happen.