On June 24, the US Chamber of Commerce took a bold step to urge the Biden Administration and Congress to remove the per-country cap limitation on green card applications. This campaign was launched by the Chamber to address the shortage of skilled and professional workforce in America and it also suggested eliminating the practice of including spouses and children under the annual quota (which exhausts visa numbers that could be used for the principal applicants). These caps have had the effect of increasing the number of years that individuals from certain countries could obtain permanent residence in the United States specifically for the countries of India, Mexico, and the Philippines. It is the visa bulletin of the US Department of State that is published monthly that provides the guidance as to which dates for immigrant visa numbers are eligible to file for the last stage of the green card process, the adjustment of status application.
The US Chamber of Commerce highlighted the shortage also skilled workers and provided suggestions include increasing the cap on H1-B visas and thus enable technology companies to hire skilled employees from foreign countries such as India and China. The H1-B quota now is at 65,000 and another 20,000 for employees who have attained higher education from an American University.
The Chamber has asked for employment-based visas to be doubled from 1,40,000 to 2,80,000 a year. Country caps should be eliminated so that no person from a particular country is subject to longer wait times. It has also asked the administration to provide foreign students graduating from US universities with greater opportunities and ease their path to permanent residency. Such changes in immigration policy can have the impact of addressing the labor shortage and doubling the number of employment-based immigrants in the US. These suggestions under the ‘America Works’ agenda have been made keeping in mind the current economy and needs of the country.
We, at Emandi Law Firm, are closely monitoring H-1B Visa developments and will keep you posted with further updates.