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Can an earlier application date fix the green card backlog?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2023 | Immigration

A group of legislators has put pressure on President Biden to give immigrants the ability to apply for green cards sooner in an effort to address the green card backlog. This is part of a bipartisan effort that is fronted by a total of 58 House members. It has many people in Florida thinking about how this immigration issue might impact them.

Shifting the time table

The number of green card applicants who are affected by this backlog is in the thousands. The change proposed by this group of lawmakers would provide these immigrants the ability to put in their application for permanent residence much sooner than they are currently able to.

The group’s immigration proposal is to allow people who are approved for employment-based immigration to submit their application at the start of the fiscal year. The aim is to ensure that all green cards that are available are put to use. These points were addressed by lawmakers in a letter submitted by the House members on July 28, 2023.

Interim relief

It should be noted that even if immigrants can apply for a green card sooner, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will shorten the waiting period before one is granted. However, the group of lawmakers points to some key benefits of interim relief that an earlier application date may provide. For instance, applicants would have more flexible employment options as well as the ability to leave the United States while they are waiting for their application to be approved.

Once a green card application has been pending for a period of 180 days, the applicant is allowed to change jobs without having to go through the entire sponsorship process again as long as they stay in the same field. And if they need to go abroad, they can do so while bypassing the consular offices for a new visa stamp, which sometimes takes months.