The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Workers Act’ that proposes, among other provisions, a provision to end per-country quota for employment based Green Cards. The bill proposes to eliminate the current provisions under which citizens of a country can be issued no more than 7% of total employment-based Green Cards available annually, and replace it with provisions that would take effect in 3 years, and provide for issuance of employment based Green Cards on first come first served basis.
Under the current system, because of the per-country quota limitation, citizens of China and India (along with citizens of Mexico and Philippines in certain EB quota categories) often wait for longer periods than citizens of other countries, to be granted an employment based Green Card. If this per-country quota system is eliminated, that would result in lesser waiting periods for citizens of China and India. And, as there is no proposal to increase the number of Green Cards offered annually, this would result in retrogression for other countries.
On the family based Green Cards front, the bill proposes to increase country-specific quotas from 7% to 15%. This would primarily result in reduction in waiting period for Philippines and Mexican native relatives of U.S. Citizens.
The bill will now be taken up before the Senate and will become law if approved by the Senate, and later signed by the President.