There is currently a bipartisan bill that is seeking to increase employment-based green cards by using accumulated backlogs since 1992 and then exempt these “recaptured” backlogs from the 7% per-country limitation.
How is this possible and how is it moving forward?
The bill was filed on March 10, 2023 by Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Democratic congressman from Illinois. He proposed it as the Eliminating Backlogs Act of 2023.
Why does this matter?
Every year, the United States only allots 140,000 employment-based green cards. From this allotment, individuals from any one country cannot be issued more than 7% of this each year.
This cap has proven to be insufficient as there are several countries where many green card applicants come from, like China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. And with a lot of applications competing for a small allotment, a lot inevitably find their way to the backlog. And this has lasted for decades.
Due to many factors, such as administrative delay and the pandemic, employment-based green card backlogs have reached 1.6 million by the end of 2022.
This is a problem, especially since the United States has had a labor shortage for a while now despite many immigrants eager to work for American companies.
Where the bill comes in
The proposed Eliminating Backlogs Act of 2023 aims to end the decades-long backlogs and assuage the labor shortage at the same time.
While the bill is expected to garner support from immigrant workers, it may face an uphill battle in Congress as previous efforts to increase the green card caps and decrease the backlogs have stalled.
Want to know how this will affect you? Reach out to your trusted immigration lawyer.