Proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, named the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, may place per-country caps on visas for immigrants wishing to work in Indiana and other states. According to authors of the bill, the goal of this legislation is to create fairer wait times and reduce the green card backlog, especially for Indian and Chinese foreign nationals. A result of this change may mean increased backlogs and wait times for applicants from all other nations.
If passed, this law would be implemented by allocating most available visas to applicants from India and China. In order to avoid shutting out all applicants from other countries, a three year transition period would allow a certain percentage of non Chinese or Indian visas to be processed. If the bill works as intended, wait times will average out in about seven years after the law is enacted.
The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act may drastically change the hopes of some foreign nationals who want to work in the United States. Immigrants from countries other than China or India who aren’t eligible for H-1Bs may be forced to leave the country due to the extended wait times for green cards. In addition, the health care industry may see a shortage of nurses since many of these workers come from countries not subject to long backlogs. The tech industry, however, could see an influx of low-cost but highly skilled workers.
Individuals who are worried about how this new law may affect their employment-based immigration should contact an attorney as soon as possible. If the law passes, legal counsel may be able to recommend a course of action.