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Donald Trump is showing no signs of softening his hardline policies on immigration. On Sunday, he sent a set of proposals to the Congress, which included the elimination of green cards for extended families, with the exception of spouses and children; a crackdown on minors that were illegally living in the country; and putting an end to the 50,000 diversity visas issued by the US.

The proposals avoided any mention of H1B visas issued to highly skilled professionals. In fact some experts believe that Trumps new policies could be quite beneficial to Indians. As we mentioned earlier, Trump’s merit-based immigration system could be beneficial for Indian students who wish to eventually settle down in the US. As age, qualifications, skills and English proficiency are all major factors to gauge a candidate’s visa application, Indian students should benefit from this particular proposal. Not only would compulsory exams such as the GRE and TOEFL ensure that they are proficient in English, but students that opt to pursue their higher education in the US. especially in STEM subjects, should score well in terms of skills and qualifications.

Earlier Update on August 14, 2017

Donald Trump has been making headlines ever since he decided to run for office. All his decisions have been controversial, sparking intense debates over whether they have been bad or good ones. The RAISE act or Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy has been controversial as well, with quite a few senators publicly expressing their disapproval of the same.

A brief look at this merit-based green card system would have you believe that while the law may not be beneficial for all Indians, it would eventually be favorable for Indian students who have opted to study in the US. Given you are a student below 30, fluent in English and with a degree in the US (more points for a Master’s degree and PhD in subjects such as science, technology, mathematics or engineering), you should find yourself with 30 points to be eligible for a US green card. You can take the quiz created by Time to better understand where you stand.

While many Indians are optimistic about this new bill, there are still worrisome points to consider. Cyrus Mehta, one of India’s best immigration lawyers, expressed his own views on the law and even explained why this law wasn’t necessarily a good thing for Indians wanting to immigrate to the US. Apart from the problems this bill would create for existing Indian citizens living in America, who have applied for their Green Card – the ones who may not necessarily benefit from the RAISE merit-based green card – he believes that the RAISE act is a xenophobic law that raises a welcome banner for skills in name only. He points out that there will be huge queues and that applications can get dated, leading to people having to constantly reapply for a green card.

It is  important to remember that applicants with higher points according to this system will be higher on the list and will have their applications processed faster.

If you have more questions, feel free to chat with us.