Some of the brightest minds and talent from China and India will be temporarily cut off from a green card option known for its swift processing time and allows individuals to live and work permanently in the U.S.
The U.S. State Department took action last week that halts the issuance of EB-1 immigrant visas to candidates from China and India starting on Aug. 1, 2016. The two-month suspension indicates the annual cap on EB-1 visas has been reached for the two countries. The issuance of EB-1 visas is expected to resume on Oct. 1, 2016, when the new fiscal year begins and the count on all visas resets.
Outstanding professors and researchers, multinational business executives, and exceptional individuals, such as Nobel Prize, Pulitzer, Oscar, and Olympic medal recipients, are eligible for EB-1 immigrant visas. An EB-1 visa, or employment-based first-preference visa, requires an employer to sponsor the visa candidate. With the latest State Department action, some of these innovative, highly-experienced, and distinguished immigrants will lose their ability to apply for permanent residence to live and work in the U.S.
What to Do?
Businesses employing Chinese or Indian nationals who are working in the U.S. must make arrangements for these employees to maintain their nonimmigrant status in the U.S. until after Oct. 1, 2016.
Chinese and Indian nationals currently working in the U.S. awaiting for EB-1 approval may be forced to leave the U.S. if their current visa is set to expire during August or September and cannot be extended—unless another solution can be found.
Other Immigrant Visas on Hold
In the same action last week, the State Department also put a hold on EB-2 immigrant visas for all countries and EB-4 immigrant visas for India. Exceptional professionals and those with advanced degrees are eligible for EB-2 immigrant visas. A host of professionals including physicians and translators are eligible for EB-4 immigrant visas.