U.S Senate Passes Bill To Remove Per-Country Caps On Green Card
In today’s blog update, we will be talking about United States moving forward with the bill that primarily talks about a skill-based approach for employment-based visas and supports the reduction of immigration backlogs by slowly eliminating the per-country cap over a nine-year period.
The immigration Bill, HR 3648 also known as ‘The Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) ACT of 2022, was originally brought forward in the House in June 2021. However, it was later re-introduced in 2022.
The EAGLE ACT of 2022 rules out the 7% per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas and adjusts it by raising the 7% per-country limit on family-sponsored green cards to 15%.
Currently, the US immigration law calls for 140,000 employment-based green cards to be issued each year. But unfortunately, only 7% of such green cards are granted, leaving a lot of people in the backlog mainly people from India and China.
In light of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data, 369,332 applicants with granted employment-based visa petitions are currently waiting for US visa availability.
To tackle this logjam, the USCIS has abdicated in-person US visa interviews for many of the applicants.
A joint press release by Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hickenlooper raises the question that an estimate of 95% of employment-based foreigners currently live and work and in the US on temporary visas provided by the government while waiting for a green card option to open.
The new, step-by-step system introduced in the bipartisan EAGLE Act, would aid in easing the logjam for those who wait for the longest.
This bill is an upgraded version of (the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act) (HR 1044) bipartisan legislation that passed both Senate and House but was never sent to the President for signature.
Meanwhile, the US office visa shows that the federal government had 66,781 under-utilized employment-based green cards in the 2021 financial year, despite nearly 1.4 million immigrants have applied and waiting for a green card.
The bill supports visa holders who have waited for two years or more for the visa to be issued by allowing them to file for adjustment, in addition, it also includes language to protect families.
Early filing for adjustment of status allows people to secure authorization of travel and portable employment authorization so that they could change employers at their convenience.
The bill also guarantees that children are eligible for the visa regardless of their age, so that families stay together.
Along with, the per- country cap modernization, the EAGLE Act also introduces new oversight and reporting requirements, and new fees for the H-1B highly skilled temporary worker program. Senator Kevin Cramer commented that reforms should be made to our current immigration system such that a new skills-based immigration system is introduced as it is understood that our current immigration is crippled, given current workforce challenges.
Senator Hickenlooper said that everyone is hurting for wokers and making necessary reforms to our immigration system will fix our workforce gap and our economy will continue to flourish.
This is the end of today’s blog update. We hope you found this blog useful. Please don’t forget to support us by subscribing to our newsletter and sharing this blog with your friends and family on Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.