New Bill Would Eliminate Per-Country Limit for Employment-Based Immigrants

February 22, 2019

In a bid to cut down on significant backlogs and attract top talent to the U.S., key House members introduced a bipartisan bill to remove per-country caps on green cards issued to employment-based visa holders.

Green card recipients from any one country are currently capped at seven percent.  With only 140,000 green cards available per year to employment-based immigrants, those from more populous countries are often subjected to backlog periods measured in decades.

“If we want to ensure America remains globally competitive, we need to ease the backlogs and leverage the talent and expertise of our high-skilled immigrants who help strengthen the U.S. economy and fill knowledge gaps in certain fields,” said cosponsor Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) in a statement.

So you’re saying there’s a chance?  Cosponsors Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Ken Buck are Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, giving the bill some early momentum.  The challenge will be keeping the measure separate from other, more divisive immigration issues.  If advocates can do that and placate opponents of the H-1B visa in the Senate, that momentum could continue.