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Doors Could Open Wider for Skilled Immigrant Labor

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on December 16, 2011

Late last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would eliminate or raise the “per country” caps on many types of visas issued to skilled laborers and their family members from foreign countries.

The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 3012) received bipartisan support and passed by a wide margin, 389 to 15. It would, if passed by the Senate, eventually eliminate per country caps on employment-based immigration, and it would raise the percentage caps on family-based immigration, allowing up to 15 percent of family-based visas to be granted to citizens of any one country (rather than the current 7 percent limitation).

The bill would also establish a three-year “transition period” during which the percentages of EB-2 visas (for advanced degree professionals and workers with exceptional abilities) and EB-3 visas (for skilled workers and professionals with a bachelor’s degree or two years of work experience) would still be limited for countries other than the top two in aggregate immigration for prior years.

For transition period visas, not more than 25 percent of total EB-2 and EB-3 visas will be granted to natives of any single country. After the transition period, not more than 85 percent of EB-2 and EB-3 visas will be given to natives of any single country.

If passed, the bill could prove particularly beneficial to hopeful immigrants from China, India and Brazil, who have had to enroll in long waiting lists for a chance to come to the U.S.

If you are an employer or an employer’s representative in charge of finding and hiring qualified immigrant workers, please do not hesitate to call our offices for assistance at (847) 564-0712. You can also check out the pertinent section of our Website for information on how we might assist you.