House Passes Bill to Eliminate Per-Country Limits on Employment-Based Green Cards

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (H.R. 1044), a bill that would change the way employment-based (EB) immigrant visas are allocated by eliminating country-specific quotas. The bill would also raise the per-country quota on family-based green cards.

If signed into law, H.R. 1044 would equalize the waiting periods for EB permanent residence and spur significant advancement in EB green card availability for India and China, but would increase waiting periods for some other countries.

A companion bill, S. 386, has been introduced in the Senate with additional provisions that would increase the Department of Labor’s oversight and enforcement authority over the H-1B category and increase H-1B employer obligations. Though the measure has bipartisan support, several senators have reportedly placed holds on the bill, making its prospects for passage uncertain.