On this blog, a number of issues related to H.R. 3012, “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act” will be discussed.
Details of the bill can be found at, THOMAS
Background: Proposed Changes to Country Quotas
H.R. 3012 seeks to eliminate the country-of-origin based eligibility limits for employment-based (EB) visa numbers. If passed, this bill would significantly change the system of allocating EB visa numbers, and eliminate the country-of-chargeability-based disparity in EB backlogs.
Effects of the Bill
Essentially, if this bill were to pass, the cutoff date in the EB visa categories would reflect a single date in each of the EB categories. That is, EB1 would have a single cutoff date (or reflect as current) for all countries. Rather than having cutoff dates for India and China, EB2 would have a single cutoff date for the entire world. The same single cutoff date system would hold true for EB3, EB4, and EB5, as well.
It appears there are those who are under the mistaken impression that a law resulting from H.R. 3012 would somehow make all the cutoff dates “current.” This legislation does not provide additional visa numbers, which would be needed to fully address the EB backlogs. It simply puts everyone in each category into the same queue. The net result, however, would have to be something that averages the most and least favorable cutoff dates in any particular category. For example, if the EB3 category for all chargeability areas except those listed has a cutoff date in 2006 and EB3 India has a cutoff date in 2002, the legislation would result in an EB3 cutoff date better than the 2002 date, but not as favorable as the 2006 date. This, in fact, makes this bill less favorable for individuals born in all countries where the priority dates are ahead – countries other than India and China.
This bill if passed will gradually
- Remove country cap on Employment based Green quota (at 7% now)
- Increase the family based green card quota to 15%
Remove Country Cap – Employment Based Visa
This country cap removal will lower US Green card wait times for Indians, Chinese and other backlogged countries like Philippines and Mexico.
Cap per country cap is 7% of a total of 140,000 employment based green cards available every year.
Immigrants from any country can get only 7%
- 1st year, 85% of EB green cards will become first come first serve
- 2nd & 3rd year,90% of EB green cards will become first come first serve
- 3+ year transition, all green cards will be first come first serve.
Family based green card cap to 15%
If you decide to settle down in the USA and get a green card, later you get married and want to bring in your spouse, it currently takes whooping 5+ years of waiting before your spouse can set his/her foot in the US. With a 15% quota, it can be faster, much faster.
Latest Developments on H.R. 3012
The most recent significant action on H.R. 3012 occurred on November 29, 2011. On that date, the bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives (House) with overwhelming support. The bill was approved by a vote of 389-15. On November 30, 2011, the bill was placed with the Senate for consideration.
Senate Introduces Identical Bill
Senator Mike Lee from Utah introduced an identical bill in the Senate. The “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act,” S. 1857, was introduced on November 10, 2011. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.