Biden administration will support family-based immigration and preserve family unification as a core principle of the US' immigration system, which includes reducing the family visa backlog

Pune: Indian nationals in the US in line for a green card could benefit from a Joe Biden administration.

The US President-elect has included the need to reform the green card process for employment-based immigrants as part of his agenda, and if he moves in that direction, Indians will be the biggest beneficiaries.

Currently, the US issues 140,000 employment-based green cards per country annually, resulting in a huge backlog for Indian applicants.

“On the green card side, Mr Biden has expressly stated that he wants to remove the per-country quota. This change can also be introduced relatively quickly and the benefits could manifest within a year potentially,” said Rajiv S Khanna, managing attorney at

Half the applications under the Permanent Employment Program were for Indian nationals in the first three quarters of FY20 (Oct’19-June’20) as per data from the Office of Foreign Labor Certification. China was the distant second with 13% applicants. Nearly 67% of these were applicants who currently had an H-1B visa. Eight out of the top 10 companies that applied for green cards for their employees in fiscal 2019 were US firms, show data released by the US labour department.

Easing the green card process is also tied to making the country a more attractive destination for high-skilled workers.

“The Biden immigration plan calls for ending per country caps and expanding green card availability for all skilled workers. Even if he can’t get legislation passed, he can use his executive powers to provide relief and a government that is genuinely pro-immigration should mean faster processing and more reasonable adjudications,” said Greg Siskind, founding partner, Siskind Susser, PC – Immigration Lawyers.

Policy watchers point out that while Donald Trump was the first modern President to view both illegal and legal immigration as a net negative for the United States, Biden ran with perhaps the most detailed pro-immigration plan in history.

“Many of the improvements needed for H-1B visas and permanent immigration channels require Congressional involvement. At this time, it is unclear what Congress will look like under the Biden administration. But no matter the makeup of Congress, the difficulties of passing immigration legislation cannot be overstated,” said Sarah Pierce, policy analyst, US Immigration Program, Migration Policy Institute.