In a bit nearer to easing the immigration of skilled workers into the United States, two Senators have introduced the Equal Access with country caps on green cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2022 in the US Senate.
The EAGLE Act will phase out the 7% per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas and raise the 7% per-country limit on family-supported visas to 15%. This will allow American employers to focus on recruiting immigrants based on merit, not birthplace.
The US House Judiciary Committee cleared the bill in April.
Right now, just 1.4 lakh employment-based green cards can be given every year – with a 7% cap on each country. If candidates from one nation overshoot the 7% allotment. A backlog of forms and the excess approved petitions are not considered. Until a visa becomes and their petition falls within the initial 7% per-country cap.
This creates extensive backlogs – especially felt in India and China.
The Us is one step closer to scrapping country caps on green cards
According to information delivered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At present, 369,322 candidates having approved employment-based petitions are awaiting visa availability.
Every one of these is a candidate under the EB2 and EB3 (for experts and skilled workers) categories. Also, they are used by technology organizations to sponsor visas for immigrant workers.
“This main lets you know the number of individuals that are waiting for their visa numbers will get a green card. They have not given the number of family members attached to these principal applicants. And this is important because visas granted to family members are also counted towards the per-country maximum allowed each year. So, we are looking at several decades of wait time”. said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at LawQuest, a global immigration law firm.
To manage the backlog and speed up processing. Also, the US immigration agency has done away with in-person interviews for a few of the candidates.
Moreover, information from the US visa office shows that the US government had 66,781 unused employment-based green cards in the 2021 fiscal year. Even as 1.4 million immigrants are lined up for them.