A new bill proposed on October 18 could salvage thousands of family and employment-based Green Cards that have gone unused from 2020-2021 due to the pandemic and are set to expire. The proposal would allow USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). According to a release from the Subcommittee on Homeland Security Committee on Appropriations, tens of thousands of Green Cards will be wasted due to the pandemic and resulting backlog. The release states that,
“These changes would ensure that United States Citizens could reunify with their families and would help the economy by permitting employers access to necessary workers as the law proscribes.”
According to the proposal, the Department of Homeland Security would receive $71.7 billion, $65 million less than President Biden requested and $136 million less than fiscal 2021, according to the committee news release.
USCIS would get $487 million for fiscal 2022, which is a $359 million boost over USCIS received in fiscal 2021. Most of the money would go toward reducing backlogs and meeting President Joe Biden’s goal of taking in 125,000 refugees in 2022.
Green Cards allow holders to permanently live and work in the United States, and immigration law provides two primary routes to obtain them:
• sponsorship by family members
• sponsorship by employers
An average Green Card application is taking 10.5 months to process, an increase of 2 months according to government statistics quoted by the Wall Street Journal.
• In June 2021, USCIS announced they are “running at a revenue loss” with a visa processing backlog due to the pandemic closures and cutbacks.
• In 2020, the USCIS had a backlog in printing 50,000 Green Cards and 75,000 Evidence of Employment Authorization cards to work in the United States.
Initiating the application process for a Green Card may seem relatively straightforward, but there can be an assortment of perplexing issues that can jeopardize the outcome. Each of the forms has words that are based on years of immigration cases or immigration statutes. The word’s plain meaning can be different from the meaning under immigration law. In some instances, the instructions published by USCIS do not cover all the requirements or factors that an immigration officer will evaluate in his or her decision. An experienced Green Card lawyer can help you understand immigration law and the legal options available to you.
Immigration law can be confusing, and it changes frequently. It is important to have legal guidance from a knowledgeable attorney. The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Lombard can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 630-912-0322.