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What You Should Know About the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on December 27, 2017

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017, also known as H.R. 392, would remove the per-country cap for employment-based visas and help eliminate the extensive backlog that immigrants from countries like China and India face when trying to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. As a result of the current per-country cap in laws for employment-based green cards,immigrants from these countries experience a significant waiting period when trying to obtain their green cards. The higher the population of the country, the longer it will likely take for immigrants to become permanent residents, whereas immigrants from smaller countries can gain permanent residency within two to three years.

Reducing Backlog for Faster Obtainment of Residency

The backlog for large nations such as China and India has made it so many immigrants could go their whole lives without ever receiving their green cards. A mere 9,800 of the 140,000 green cards handed out each year are given to immigrants from any one nation. In some nations like India, the number of applicants can be as high as two million. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 aims to eliminate this issue by removing the per-country cap and implementing a new first-come, first-serve system that gives every immigrant an equal chance at obtaining permanent residency.

Another common issue that younger immigrants face is the risk of deportation, as many turn 21 before their parents receive green cards. The new laws would also allow spouses and children of H-1B visa holders to become permanent residents, which further helps avoid the problems associated with a large backlog.

Becoming Part of a Greater Piece of Legislation

As the lead sponsor of the bill, Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas has attempted to get as many cosponsors as possible for the bill. Yoder is raising awareness of the bill in hopes that it will come to the floor as part of a larger piece of legislation or as a stand-alone bill.

Bills like the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 will enable immigrants to gain permanent residence without many of the hassles that they face today. In addition to helping adults who wish to work in the U.S., H.R. 392 is part of an attempt to ensure a future in the nation for spouses and children who are often otherwise neglected.