Two Senators introduced a bill entitled Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) in the US Senate. This is a step toward making it easier for skilled workers to move to the US.
The EAGLE Act eliminates the 7% per-country cap on employment-based immigrant visas and raises the 7% per-country limit on family-sponsored visas to 15%. This will let American companies hire immigrants based on their skills instead of where they were born.
In April, the US House Judiciary Committee gave the Bill its approval. Currently, only 1.4 lakh employment-based green cards can be granted yearly, with each country having a 7% cap. Suppose petitioners from a single country exceed the first 7% per-country cap. In that case, there is a backlog, and the extra approved petitions are not processed until a visa is available and their petition falls within the first 7% per-country cap.
This causes significant backlogs, which are especially noticeable in India and China.
The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) reports that 369,322 people who petitioned for employment visas have been approved.
Almost all of these people fit into the EB2 Visa and EB3 Visa categories for professionals and skilled workers and are used by tech companies to sponsor visas for immigrant workers.
“This indicates how many people are waiting for visa numbers to obtain a green card. They have not revealed the number of family members associated with these primary applications. This is significant because visas awarded to family members are also tallied towards the per-country maximum allowed yearly. So, we’re talking about decades of waiting,” said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at LawQuest, a global immigration law firm.
To clear the backlog and speed up the process, US Immigration Service has stopped interviewing many applicants in person.
According to information from the US visa office, the US government had 66,781 employment-based green cards that were not being used in the fiscal year 2021, even though 1.4 million people were waiting in line.