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U.S. Senate Passes Bill That Eliminates Country Cap for Certain Green Cards

U.S. Senate building

Last month, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass bill S.386, also known as Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, that aims to end country caps for employment-based green cards.

The bill eliminates the 7% country cap law set forth in the Immigration Act of 1990, which states that no country can receive more than 7% of the total number of employment-based and family-sponsored visas in any given year. Additionally, with the passage of the bill, the per-county cap for family-based visas will be 15%—more than double what it was previously.

Many advocates of the bill applauded its passage, which will hopefully be a step toward clearing the decades-long green card backlog (especially in India and China), bridging the gap for America’s workforce shortage, creating a more merit-based system that levels the playing field for highly-skilled workers.

Next Steps to Become Law

While the bill was passed by the Senate, there’s still a long way to go before it would be officially signed into law. In 2019, the House of Representatives passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Workers Act HR 1044, yet its exact wording is much different from the newest one passed by the Senate.

Now, the two separate bills will have to be reconciled and one, final bill passed before it heads up to president-elect Joe Biden for final approval. It’s not expected that he will refuse the bill, as vice president-elect Kamala Harris was one of its main proponents.

Questions about your or your family member’s immigration application? Contact Maney Gordon Zeller at (800) 708-4399 to speak with our board-certified immigration attorneys at your earliest convenience! We offer free, personalized case reviews and you work directly with an attorney.


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