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US Immigration and Green Card Reform Bill is Put to Senate Vote

An immigration reform bill suggested to the U.S. senate would increase the H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 115,000 and cause other changes to U.S. green card and visa policy


The 2006 Immigration Reform Act has been debated upon by the Senate Judiciary Committee for the past few weeks. This document will possibly change immigration policy and security and will make reforms in the H-1B and U.S. green-card laws. Voting for the green card bill by the Senate can be concluded by the end of the month. The number of American green card lotteries is estimated to expand to allow for more American green cards to be gotten.

Green Card and Immigration Changes

The immigration bill is 300 pages long and includes changes in U.S. Green card and immigration policy such as:

  • Create a student visa that can ease the process of gaining a U.S. green card.
  • A new student visa (F-4) that leads to a U.S. green card for foreign nationals pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at U.S. colleges.
  • Expand employment-based immigrant visas from 140,000 to 290,000.
  • Exclude immediate family members from the green-card limit.
  • Recapture unused immigrant visas from prior years.

Objection to Green Card Bill

The major opposing side to the green card bill is an organization called IEEE-USA. It's president Ralph W. Wyndrum Jr. opposes any H-1B U.S. Green card cap increase, and instead supports efforts to make it easier for foreign workers to gain permanent residency. Wyndrum says his group opposes the H-1B visas because they can be abused by employers, who often treat visa holders like sweat-shop workers. According to his opinion the green card bill leaves room for fraude and abuse so workers will get green cards and working visas through devious means. If the bill is excepted, it might change how people apply for Green-cards. More people would then be able to immigrate to the U.S. for various reasons.

American Green Card and Visa Applications

Visas and Green Card Applications for the 2007 federal fiscal year can be submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services starting April 1. Last year, the immigration bureau cut off new applications in August after reaching the 65,000 visa limit for the 2006 fiscal year.

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