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US unveils merit-based immigration system

Washington, May 18: US President Donald Trump has rolled out a merit-based immigration system from which foreigners, including hundreds and thousands of Indian professionals and skilled workers, waiting to get Green Cards or permanent legal residency stand to benefit. He made the announcement in his Rose Garden speech on Thursday.

President Trump said under the proposed system permanent legal residency would be given based on points for their age, knowledge, job opportunities and civic sense.

The proposals significantly increase the quota for skilled workers from the existing nearly 12 per cent to 57 per cent. Besides, immigrants will be required to learn English and pass a civics exam prior to admission.

He also announced that there would be a new “Build America” visa – details of which were not provided on Thursday. His Rose Garden speech made references to foreign workers displacing low-income Americans’ jobs and highly valuable graduates leaving America to start companies in their own countries because they could not get a visa in America.

People those are being given Green Cards on humanitarian and diversity grounds will now only constitute 10% of all Green Card recipients, according to a handout given to the press at the end of the Rose Garden event. Currently, the diversity lottery offers 50,000 green cards to under-represented groups each year.

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