Good news might be in store for green card applicants in the United States. In a recent report released by The White House, it has been revealed that a presidential commission recommends reduced processing times for immigrants seeking permanent status in the United States.
Green cards, officially known as Permanent Resident Cards, allow non-citizens to live and work permanently in the United States. According to Times of India, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders recommends a maximum of six months for the interviews and overall process of the applications.
The commission also recommended that all backlogged applications be cleared by April 2023. The article cited that the longer processing times for the green cards were due to staffing limitations, closures because of Covid-19, and the continued effect of the 2017 travel ban.
According to the commission report, nearly 300,000 green cards were available in 2021. Still, only a little over 65,000 family-based green cards were issued. The White House is now looking into ways the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can alleviate this problem.
Times of India also reported that the commission wanted USCIS to take a closer look at its processes and policies in order to have a better and swift turn-around with the pending applications.
“USCIS should review their processes… by removing redundant steps, if any, and automating any manual approvals,” the report stated.
The report also revealed the government’s plan to hire additional officers to increase its manual workforce. By November 2022, USCIS aims to process more green card application interviews. By April 2023, they are expected to increase their current numbers by 150%.
Other recommendations by the commission included issues with H-1B and H-2A visas. They stated in the report that adjudicating requests for temporary work programs should occur within two months.
The report is currently under review with the White House Domestic Policy Council. The recommendations will only await President Biden’s decision if there are no issues or concerns.
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