Bill to Eliminate Per-Country Caps on Work Visas Reintroduced

May 10, 2019

A bipartisan group of Senators reintroduced legislation to eliminate the per-country caps on employment-based visas and to raise the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (S.386) eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas and increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available in 2020 to 15%.  It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.

The bill further reserves a percentage of two employment-based green card categories—EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability) and EB-3 (skilled and other workers) visas—for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas.  Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% would be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

Outlook: The bill has historically enjoyed broad support in both chambers from both parties.  However, its chances appear slim as Senate floor time will most likely be focused on confirmations and appropriations.