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Global Business Team

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Immigration outlook for Indian workers may be changing

Some people from India who hope to settle in Indiana or other parts of the United States may benefit from the Trump administration’s immigration plans if they are enacted. The administration wants to move toward a merit-based immigration system that admits more highly-skilled immigrants. The plan is to increase the percentage of these immigrants to 57% from the current level of 12%.

More than three-quarters of all green card applications that are in progress come from Indian applicants. Under the current system, the wait time can be 12 years or even longer. One attorney says that an improved system would provide a clearer set of objective criteria and wait times for applicants. Getting rid of caps on immigrants per country might ease the backlog. However, others caution that the new proposal may not benefit Indians as much as it appears. The new system could make some of those who have been waiting ineligible. Some applicants may not pass the new minimum threshold.

The H-1B visa has already become less attractive to some applicants since their spouses may lose their rights to work. Some Indians have been looking at other avenues that include the EB-5 investor visa, an L-1 visa that allows inter-company transfers, and even the E-2 visa. The latter visa requires Indians first become citizens of an eligible country.

With laws around employment-based immigration in flux, people who are seeking to live and work in the United States may want to consult an attorney about their options. These will differ depending on the person’s skills and education as well as what country the person is from. Other factors, such as having family in the country, may also be relevant. An attorney may be able to assist a person in navigating the complex process of immigration, including gathering documentation, completing forms, and meeting deadlines.