House has passed HR1044 on June 2019 to remove the green card country limits but the Senate’s version is still blocked by Rand Paul at this time.
Bloomberg reports that Paul blocked as he wants an amendment to include Nurses in the bill as they stand to get a waiting period of 8+ years if this bill is passed.
The whole idea of this bill is to remove limits and Senator Paul is asking to add one for nurses. If an amendment is brought for Nurses based on their profession, what is the guarantee that other professionals will not start asking for similar reservation too.
It seems that no-one has any real intention of passing the bill as one or other senator finds some reason to block this bill which has been pending for last 10 years. It is more of a political move than any empathy with Nurses.
Rand Paul is now the lone Senator blocking it’s passage under the rules of “unanimous consent”. He did this by putting a “hold” on the bill, which can be maintained indefinitely.
Unless an agreement is reached with Rand Paul, the Green card country limit removal hopes are going down the drain again in 116th congress!
Fairness for High Skilled Workers Act S.386 is pushing for Green Card country limit removal through Senate and is similar to HR 1044 bill in house.
If S386 senate bill is passed, the 7% cap for employment-based Green cards will be completely removed to help speed up the decades long wait for high skilled workers primarily for Indian and Chinese H1B workers.
It will also increase the family based immigration’s per-country cap from current 7% year to 15%.
Chances of S386 Bill Approval
The chances of Green card limits removal by Senate even with 34 co-sponsors and Republicans majority are good at this time.
A non-profit organization called ImmigrationVoice has been trying hard to convince the Senators to move the S386 for voting with community support.
ImmigrationVoice posted an update on June 17 claiming that they have reached a ‘deal’ with Senator Lee who has added an amendment to S386 with additional clauses for H1B job offers, which will make the bill come out of current deadlock.
The Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had blocked a similar bill in 2011. He is still there and is reported to be on-board with the H1B S386 amendment deal.
H1B requirements – S386 Amendment Deal
- Publish H1B LCA online on internet – LCA are available online currently as well. Not sure how it is a new requirement.
- H1B Employer to provide how they calculated LCA prevailing wage.
- Employer has to certify they are not favoring H1B over American workers – This also exists currently as a law.
- DOL can ask for H1B employee W2 to validate wages – Currently exists as law too.
- Allow DOL to charge fees for H1B LCAs – This is new requirement.
- Foreign workers cannot use B1/B2 to work in US – This is an existing law too.
- Protect whistle blowers against H1B employer retaliation – This is an existing law.
The lobbying is the only way forward keeping in mind the anti-immigrant perception of US mass that Trump is trying to change by talking about Merit based immigration.
HR 1044 vs S-386 Bill
HR 1044 is a green card country limit removal bill was introduced by Democrats in House and S386 is in Senate.
The two bill have to run separately in their own House and Senate.
House 1044 bill is currently supported by 300+ co-sponsors and has good chances of approval there.
If both HR 1044 and S386 are passed separately, then the differences between the House and Senate S386 bill will need to be reconciled in a meeting between members of the House and members of the Senate.
If HR 1044 is passed in House and Senate’s version is still pending, HR1044 will need to be voted and passed in Senate.
Similarly, if S386 is passed first and HR1044 is pending at that time, the S-386 will need to be passed in House.
The final step is president Trump’s signature to make it a law.
If neither bill get a vote in both Chambers, the bill dies in 24 months.
S386 Green Card Limits for Initial Years
There are reservations for employment-based visas from financial year 2020 to FY 2022 if the bill is passed to safeguard non-backlogged country queues.
The percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability) and EB-3 (skilled and other workers) Green cards for individuals not from the two countries (which is practically India and China) with the largest number of recipients of such visas:
- Year 2020 – 15% for non India, China.
- Year 2021 – 10% for non India, China.
- Year 2022 – 10% for non India, China.
This is pretty much same as what HR 1044 also offers.
India Green Card backlog Survey
EB2 is the most preferred category for Indian H1B workers to file Green Card.
Share your Green card priority date and see results. You need google account to fill it. No email collected. No spam. You can see survey results once you have filled it yourself.
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