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Gandhigiri works! Green Card seekers make US change heart

Press Trust Of India
Jul 19, 2007 at 04:08pm IST

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Washington: The magic of 'Gandhigiri' has worked for Indian Green Card seekers with the US immigration department on Wednesday announcing that it will accept applications from foreign professionals seeking permanent residency through an expedited process, reversing its earlier decision.

Inspired by Bollywood movie Lage Raho Munnabhai, angry immigrant applicants had started a campaign to flood the Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) headquarters with flowers after an abrupt withdrawal of a measure that promised expedited processing of their request for Green Card.

"The public reaction to the July 2 announcement made it clear that the federal government's management of this process needs further review," USCIS Director, Emilio Gonzalez, said.

NOVEL PROTEST: Green Card seekers had resorted to Gandhigiri to protest the July 2 move of USCIS.

The USCIS said it would immediately start accepting employment-based applications to adjust status (Form I-485) filed by aliens whose priority dates are current under the July Visa Bulletin, No. 107. USCIS will accept applications filed not later than August 17, 2007.

On July 2, 2007, USCIS announced that it would not accept any additional employment-based applications for this fiscal year.

Taking a cue from the movie, which extols the Gandhian way of peaceful protest or 'Gandhigiri', a coinage, the Green Card seekers had launched the novel way of protest from July 11.

"After consulting with USCIS, the Department of State has advised that Bulletin #107 (dated June 12) should be relied upon as the current July Visa Bulletin for purposes of determining employment visa number availability, and that Visa Bulletin #108 (dated July 2) has been withdrawn," the USCIS said in a statement.

"I am committed to working with Congress and the State Department to implement a more efficient system in line with public expectations," Gonzalez said USCIS's announcement allows applicants a full month's time to apply for Green Card. Applications already properly filed with USCIS will also be accepted.

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