H1B Visa Holders Can Get Faster Green Card By Paying This SuperFee: How Will It Work?
The US is proposing a bill which could benefit Indians there to jump the queue for green cards by paying a supplemental fee or superfee.
A green card is also known as a Permanent Resident Card.
It serves as evidence of legal permission of permanent residency in the country.
How It Works
Upon payment of $5,000 at the time of filing their final adjustment of status applications, Indians in the visa backlogs can seek a waiver of the numerical limitations.
The bill could also help children of H-1B holders who have aged out or will age out, and who have turned 21 obtain permanent residency and citizenship.
For the EB-5 category (immigrant investors), the superfee amounts to $50,000.
The provisions expire in 2031.
No Change In Cap Or Quota
However, this bill, the Reconciliation Bill, does not seek to either get rid of country caps for green cards, or increase the annual quota of H-1B visas.
Presently there is a 7% cap per country and the annual quota of green cards for employment-based applicants is 1.40 lakh.
This quota causes a significant backlog of Indians hoping to get a visa.
It had reached 7.41 lakh in April 2020 and had an expected wait time of 84 years.
Indians in line can also qualify under the essential worker provision.
The areas these workers may serve in include IT, healthcare, food and agriculture and transport industries.
Essential Worker Advantage
This provision is more flexible since it does not need the applicant to be sponsored by an employer.
They don’t have to pay the $5,000 superfee either but may have to pay $1,500 if their priority date is not within two years.
Essential workers qualifying for this must have consistent income in an essential job between January 31, 2020 and August 24, 2021.
It should be noted that the bill is not yet finalised and will be subject to mark-up in the House Judiciary Committee, and will need to be included in the Senate Bill.
Finally, parliamentarians will assess the revenue generating ability of the provisions since it will be part of a budget Reconciliation Bill.
Indians are still hopeful of a positive outcome.