Congress to Eliminate Per Country Limits?

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

By a vote of 389 to 15 the House of Representatives passed an immigration bill that would eliminate the 7% per country limits on employment based green cards. For family based cases it will raise the cap from 7% to 15%. The bill is now awaiting discussion and a vote by the Senate.

This bill is extraordinary in that it shows that Congress can actually agree on something (as indicated by the overwhelming number of people in favor) and possibly pass a bill. The last several years have been a complete deadlock for immigration and all types of reform due to strict partisanship by both parties and abuse of the filibuster by the Republican party.

Skilled workers from India and China awaiting an immigrant visa will see the most impact. For example, the EB-2 category for the rest of the world is current, but they are working on cases with a priority date back in 2008 for individuals from China and India. People from Mexico and the Philippines awaiting an immigrant visa based on a family petition will also see a significant reduction in the wait times.

Unfortunately this bill will not increase the number of immigrant visas available beyond 140,000 per year, which is badly needed. As a result the wait for an immigrant visa in the EB-3 category and most family categories for individuals from the rest of the world will slow down.