HR 392 is 1044 now – Removing the country limit for US green cards

HR 392 is. HR 1044 now to remove country based green card limits. Will benefit India and China to reduce wait times.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  29 Apr, 19


Feb 7, 2019 – HR 392 reintroduced as HR 1044

HR 392 Bill latest news – HR 392 has been reintroduced in Congress by Lofgren and Buck as HR 1044.

HR 1044 stands a better chance of passing in Congress as Lofgran is the chair and Buck, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, putting them in a position to get the bill moving.

The problem point may still be Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who has blocked prior versions of the bill because of concerns about the H-1B program itself.

HR 1044 has new clauses to fix the amount of Green Cards for countries other than Indian and China. This has been done to avoid any objections in congress based on the fear that all GCs will be taken solely by Indian and Chinese H1B workers.

It also addresses American Hospital association and America Iranian council fears of giving GC only to two countries for decades to come.

Source: Bloomberg

HR 392 Did not Pass Congress

When HR-392 was a bill of its own, it had about 329 co-sponsors.  It is supported by Amazon, Deloitte LLP, Equifax Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., and Texas Instruments among others to remove country based limits. If successful, it can change the life of Indian and Chinese skilled workers forever.

HR 392 Removing country Limit timeline

  1. Update Dec 7, 2018 – Stop gap funding approved without HR 392
    A stop gap funding has been approved for DHS appropriations bill by president Trump till Dec 21, 2018.
  2. Update Sep 29, 2018 – Country based limit removal not approvedOH law reports that the President signed the DHS stop-gap funding bill as part of Continuing Resolutions which are attached to H.R. 6157 2nd Minibus FY-2019 Spending Bill, which does not include Immigration Bill to eliminate Employment-Based Per Country Limit.

    Earlier, the provisions of HR 392 and other such country based removal bills were added to DHS spending bill as a way to pass them along with avoiding the government shutdown. But, it has not happened yet.

What is HR 392 bill

HR 392 is making news these days and is a hot topic in H1B skilled worker community as it is a crucial bill that holds the potential to change their future significantly with 327 sponsors.

A bill passes through these steps before it can become law and make some significant contribution to people’s lives:

  1. Introduced
  2. Passed House
  3. Passed Senate
  4. To President
  5. Became Law

Chances of HR 392 Passing and becoming Bill?

HR 392 is currently at introduction stage. There is a long way to go before it ever sees light of day. Given the current political scenario in Trump government and democrats priorities, the chances of this bill ever becoming a law are very LOW.

It’s good to have hopes but this bill is probably just an eye wash.

Remove per-country caps for Employment-based Green Cards

HR 392 aims to issue US green Cards on a first-come, first-serve basis instead of Country of Birth, thereby giving equal chance at obtaining US permanent residency to every one.

Today, each country has a numerical limit of 7% (9,800 of the 140,000 annual green cards limit) green cards that can be issued. This bill intends to make this amendment in the Immigration and Nationality Act and completely get rid of country of birth based limits.

If passed, HR 392 has the potential of reducing the Green card backlogs exponentially for Indian and Chinese nationals working on temporary H1B visa in USA. For almost a decade, no other country except Indian and China will receive any Green card as their nationals, that are waiting in queue, will get benefited.

This will also help avoid the problem of H1B worker kids ‘Ageing out‘ on turning 21, which effectively makes them start their own Green Card process.

Increase per-country limitation for family-based GC from 7% to 15%

H.R. 392 also has a clause to change limit on family based immigration from 7 to 15% effectively doubling up the chances of uniting the families.

Source: H.R.392 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017


   61 Useful Questions & Answers from comments

  1. Kartik Gera
    Kartik Gera 5 Feb, 19 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Anil!
    Can you give us an idea how things will change if the cap is lifted. How many years it will take for someone with a PD of 2019 for example. I have seen comments on quora that it will still be more than 25 yrs of wait for recent applicants.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 5 Feb, 19 at 2:36 pm

      If the country based cap is removed, It will still take around 8-9 years for someone filing for Green card in 2019.


  2. Swap
    Swap 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

    Thank you Anil !


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 9:50 am

      You are welcome.


  3. Sanket Singh
    Sanket Singh 14 Jan, 19 at 9:47 am

    Thanks Anil. I hope HR392 passes as soon as possible. It is only fair for the applicants to receive their Green Cards on a first come first serve basis. It is not fair and very wrong for one person to wait 10 years to receive their Green Card and other person to get theirs in 6 months, just because they were born in a country that is not populated enough and doesn’t generate that many skilled immigrants. It is complete BS to say that Indians and Chinese are flooding these applications, because USCIS scrutinizes each and every application on its merit and the integrity of the applicant/employer. Plenty of applications have been rejected in the past and will be in the future, when USCIS deems them to be fraudulent. Additionally, if someone is highly skilled or has better talent and from a country that has lesser population, there are several other ways to get their GC’s.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 9:47 am

      Yep.. true.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 10:04 am

      Thanks for sharing the link.


  4. Romi
    Romi 2 Dec, 18 at 1:12 pm

    Unfortunately your what you call market is apparently only IT market. But so that you know there are other areas of technology that need skill workers too. They don’t happens to be Indian and Chinese only. If fact my company only hire few Indians and Chinese simply becuase they don’t have the skills they need. Instead they need people form other countries of the world. The same old true for universities that use H1 Visa to hire the most skills scientists and professors. Again these are not only Indians and chinesse… they are from all the world as talent in equally distributed in the world. Of course this will be impossible if you take out the country cap as only Indian and Chinese will receive green cards in the next 10-15 years. So you can see how removing the country cap and base green cards only on date of faling, then you are only favor one sector of the induatey and you are practically undermining the other sectors. So when I talk about market I talk about all areas of the induatey and not just Google, apple and those. Then this is why I think this is totally ridiculous and unfair.
    Opposite to you I don’t belong to any category, I already have a green card. I just think country deviersity is essential to sustain the development of all areas or industry and academic research in this country.


    • Tany
      Tany 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

      I have Indian and Chinese friends in non-IT industry as well such as healthcare. E.g, I know some very highly qualified Indian and Chinese doctors, who are in the life long waiting list only because of their nationality. Many work in remote American cities where American docs don’t want to go. So you mean a PhD or a Professor from a smaller country deserves the GC more than an Indian doctor serving Americans in these places. Why is that?


      • bolton
        bolton 13 Feb, 19 at 10:44 pm

        I think what Romi want to point out is fairness of EVERY industry sector. Suppose workers in populated country A are not good at industry sector X in general but small country B has lots of skillful labour working in the sector X. Then removing the country cap of US GC will restrict the development of sector X in the US. You may argue why we can have the assumption that the skillset of people depends on where they live. But I think the assumption is legit as global specialization played a vital role in the last few decades.


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 14 Feb, 19 at 6:33 am

          I respectfully disagree with your point.

          If the development of sector X was the concern, then skill based visa like H1B, H1B1, H2B and L would have been diversity based too.

          USCIS takes a hefty fraud prevention fees from each applicant to safeguard the interests of US workers.

          USCIS gives thousands of employment based visas each year just on the basis of the skills, high salary (means high tax contribution, high social security and Medicare contribution) and then at the time of green card, holds them in queue for decades.

          That does seem like a problem in the law.

          Businesses do not see diversity while hiring.
          Also, USCIS has to take care of sector x if they want it to grow and give them visas.


  5. Romi
    Romi 2 Dec, 18 at 11:01 am

    I do understand the system. I like it as it is. It’s hard but fare and that’s all that matter. I understand you have long time wait ….but at last h1 wives and companions are still able to work during waiting time…an advantage that other Visa categories with even more skilled people don’t have.
    You may think I don’t understand how it works but I do, I just happend not to agree on favor some people on behave of other. And I just happend to think that diversity is key specially for science and other areas.
    I do know how companies hire h1 workers and take advantage of the system by hiring this people through a contractor that can get easy h1 Visa sometimes under strange circumstances. This people are pay less than a normal worker and they don’t even have the benefits that all other workers in the company have. So basically they are cheap labor for big pharma and tech. I know, my company used to do on a yearly based. So don’t tell me I don’t under and becuase that’s not the case.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 Dec, 18 at 11:22 am

      So, did you ask your ‘company’ about why are they hiring so many ‘Cheap’ labor when they are ‘not qualified’ to do the work?
      Do ‘they’ want their business to go down by making cheap unskilled labor to work for them?
      Do ‘they’ search for (diversity + skills) too while looking to fill a skilled job? or they look for the skills only?

      Business and economics do not work on the ‘perception’ that political masters create. Most people think and understand the way political narrative is laid out. Market equilibrium is completely different than how visa and GCs are distributed though.
      This mismatch between market demand and GC set up has created this long wait for these two countries.

      And you are just blaming the whole H1B system just because some of them have probably committed fraud. The same people would have committed visa fraud for other visa category too like your O-1, J, F, L etc.

      USCIS is there is detect that fraud and reject those applications.


      • Kevin
        Kevin 5 Dec, 18 at 6:04 am

        Well said Anil


  6. Romi
    Romi 2 Dec, 18 at 10:10 am

    Us is not giving the Visa to only people of those country. Many people from other countries have h1 Visa too. The fact that you hold so many h1 Visa is just a matter of number of application becuase you are way too much. Again not the fault of the rest of the world!! Also is becuase big tech take advantage of h1 Visa and the system. It is simply worthless to keep discussing with you becuase you are clearly one willing to change the system for your own advantage. Lukely there is a lot of people in the Congressman that see this unfairness and and so there is still a low chance this bill will pass.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 Dec, 18 at 10:17 am

      You don’t seem to understand the whole system and just focussed on ”too many’ aspect. The same way, you are possibly in the category of ‘too low’ a number.

      Tech companies, healthcare or whatever hire based on skills and market conditions.
      ROW number are low because there are not enough qualified people there to fit the job description!

      Anyway, I just wanted to present a balanced picture.
      Your language is too harsh to continue discussion too.
      Be happy.


  7. Romi
    Romi 2 Dec, 18 at 9:30 am

    Not true. You and nor suffering for the rest of the countries you ate suffering simply becuase you are too many. Besides many of us form other countries are way more high skilled than H1 Visa, we for example came on a O1 Visa with is relieve for very special top 5% high skill people. Still we will be affected by two countries how simply don’t understand h1visa is a temporary employment Visa, not a migration visa.
    Country cup ensures that people for all counties have the same opportunities and is therefore more fare. I’m sorry guys you are so many but that’s simply not our foult.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 Dec, 18 at 9:34 am

      That’s your view based on looking at only one side.
      Why is USA giving all H1B visa to people from these countries then if they are not qualified enough?
      The same is true with O1, L1 and other visas as well. If you qualify, you get it.

      Simply keeping this perception that all H1Bs are useless is a biased thought in my opinion.


    • junajuna
      junajuna 14 Jan, 19 at 9:48 am

      Dude, if you are from ROW then just apply in diversity visa for a lottery. The ROW dumps enough low skilled labor into the market every year with diversity lottery, so why skip that?


      • Romi
        Romi 9 Feb, 19 at 10:03 am

        Nop. Beacuse that option is base on been lucky in a lottery and that’s not what a high skill immigrant should be facing. If you are a high skill professor, top in your area of science. Would you play your future in a lottery….I don’t think so. So this is not a solutions for the ROW, the solution, as it is now, is that every country should have the same amount of Visas avaiabale so that the best professionals from each country can come. If you are from India/China you want to come then simply be the best and you will get it. If fact Indians and Chinese that come and apply for green cards as EB1 don’t have to wait a crazy amount of time. Meaning the more skilled professionals do have a fare chance.
        Removing the cap only favor some countries of the world and doesn’t allow US to get the best of the world and the visa/green card programs aim to.


    • Senthur
      Senthur 8 Mar, 19 at 1:04 pm

      Do you even know that your O-1 visa is also a nonimmigrant visa.


  8. Romi
    Romi 2 Dec, 18 at 8:57 am

    This is stupid. So all of the rest of the world have to be affected on the benefit of two countries. Ridiculous. Hope it never pass.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 Dec, 18 at 9:17 am

      ‘Stupidity’ depends on which country you are from.
      Right now, these two countries are suffering just for rest of world even when they probably are more qualified for work visa than ROW.


      • Romi
        Romi 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

        Do you mean all those indeans techinicheans that get the H1 without even having a master or a PhD. Well I don’t think they are even more qualify. I think they are just abusing the system. Once the H1 visa system is corrected in such a way that only really high qualify people can get an H1….them we can see what to do with the cap. Mean while…I think that really qualify indeans and Chinese are just victims of his conationals abuse of the immigration system.


    • Tany
      Tany 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

      Romi, you mean to say that being born in a particular part of the world is more important than the work one is doing. So, a person born in Iran/Nepal (example only) deserves a GC more than a Chinese or an Indian with equal or probably more talent ONLY because he/she was born in a smaller country. One cannot change his birth place but can change what he contributes to the society. The reason there is a long backlog is due to a faulty system. The way it should be done is by NOT eliminating but changing the cap limits. For e.g increase limit from 7 to 25% or so. This way, the rest of the world will still have 50% green cards. No fighting! Everybody will be happy 🙂


      • Anil Gupta
        Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:27 am

        Good point Tany.


      • Romi
        Romi 9 Feb, 19 at 2:09 pm

        No Tany. But consider that the waiting time for really high quilfy indeans an Chinese that are in EB1 category is only 2 years (priority date is currently Jan 2017) while is one year for the rest of the world. So not q big difference there. The problem of the rest of the categories is that other indeans and Chinese nationals who are not so high qualify take advantage of the H1 system where even a person with only a BS degree can take an H1 and them come to do cheap labor. Therefore your friends are suffering the consequences becuase his conationals are abusing the system. So maybe they should start looking on that first. It is simply impossible to think that only two counties is the world will have the change to get 80% of all green card. That’s eliminating diversify and American runs in diversity.


  9. xiao
    xiao 16 Nov, 18 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Anil,

    Do you know the timeline of HR392? If it is approved (seems very likely?), when will it be effective? Thanks!


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 16 Nov, 18 at 2:19 pm

      I do not think that HR 392 is on the track to be approved on its own. I have updated the article above to reflect the current situation.
      HR392 has been merged with HR6776 and the chances of its approval are low.


      • Das
        Das 29 Nov, 18 at 6:58 pm

        What is HR6776?


        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 29 Nov, 18 at 7:20 pm

          It’s a different bill and some of HR 392 provisions have been added to it as an amendment.


          • junajuna
            junajuna 14 Jan, 19 at 9:50 am

            I feel like the actual provisions of HR392 will be squeezed into and approved via some proxy bill one way or the other. This a good strategy since grandstanding with a stand alone bill is never going to work, plus there is genuine revenue guarantee by passing the provisions of 392 via fees for COS filing which everyone from India & China will happily pay. I’ve also heard that if pushed for ammending HR392 provisions, the recommended amendment would be to “exclude H1B dependent employers” from the benefits of the provision, this is very likely to get MUCH LESS pushback, especially since none of the companies backing 392 are “H1B Dependent”, so it’ll be a relief for some folks.


            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 9 Feb, 19 at 10:03 am

              Could be possible but i have not heard of any such provision at this time though.


  10. Anil Gupta
    Anil Gupta 14 Jan, 19 at 10:04 am

    The same thing that you think will be dreadful for non-indian and non-chinese is what they are suffering from.

    Since, you are not suffering even after paying tax and making honest living, you think it is not worth even considering and making a change to law.

    Anyway, that’s your opinion and thanks for sharing. But, it does not really make a fair play for the people who are suffering.


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