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Friday, March 14, 2014

H.R. 3012: "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act"

Reforming the per-country limits on employment and family-based visas are both up for consideration this week in the House. The purpose of "HR 3012" is to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes.

Please find the actual bill here and note the following update from AILA's Director of Advocacy, Greg Chen:

On Thursday and Friday this week, the House Judiciary committee is scheduled to markup a series of bills including H.R. 3012, the "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act". Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) along with Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) are the sponsors of H.R. 3012, a measure that would eliminate the current per country cap limits of 7% on all employment-based (EB) green card categories over a three year transitional (phase-in) period leading to a strictly "first in, first out" (based on priority dates) system within the existing employment-based green card system. The measure would immediately increase the family-based per country cap from 7% to 15%. Also, the offset created by the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992 is eliminated under the bill.

During the three year phase-in of the "first in, first out" employment based system- no group of applicants from a single country may receive more than 70% of employment based visas. In FY 2012, "first in, first out" applies to 85% of available EB visas; for FY 2013, "first in, first out" applies to 90% of available EB visas and for FY 2014, "first in, first out" applies to 90% of available EB visas for those visas not subject to "first in, first out". In other words, in FY 2012, 15% would be set-aside and 10% for the next two fiscal years. No group of applicants may receive more than 25% of the total set-aside during the 3 year phase-in period.

H.R. 3012 is the last measure on the list of bill scheduled to be addressed so there is a chance the committee will not get to it this week. In any case, we will provide additional updates as they occur.


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