US Congress tables Bill to remove per-country cap on green card

WASHINGTON (TIP): A bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives to eliminate the per country cap on employment-based green card.

The legislation was introduced by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressman John Curtis, and it is likely to benefit Indian IT professionals anguishing over decades of green card wait.

The Bill phases out the 7 per cent per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visa and raises the 7 per cent per-country limit on family-sponsored visa to 15 per cent.

The Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act, 2021, needs to be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for the President to sign it into a law.

Its predecessor, the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, was passed in the House in the 116th Congress with a resounding bipartisan vote of 365 to 65. “We all know that our immigration system is severely broken, and it has been broken for decades,” said Lofgren, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.

The basic framework for allocating the immigrant visa dates back to the middle of the 20th century and was last seriously updated in 1990, when the Congress established the worldwide numerical limits on visa and the seven per cent per-country cap that still exists today, she said.

Over time, these limitations have led to backlogs that were unimaginable in 1990. The effect has been that countries with relatively small populations are allocated the same number of visas as a relatively large population country.

“The result? A person from a large-population country with extraordinary qualifications who could contribute greatly to our economy and create jobs waits behind a person with lesser qualifications from a smaller country,” she added.

(Source: PTI)

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