There are about a million immigrants in New Jersey and around the country who have employment-based visas and would like to become permanent residents, and most of them will experience a lengthy wait. That is because only a limited number of employment-based green cards are issued each year, and a 7% per-country limit is strictly enforced. Green card applications from immigrants who came to the United Stets from countries with small populations are processed quickly, but there is a huge backlog of applications from Chinese and Indian immigrants.
More than 40% of the world’s population lives in India or China, and the two countries have an abundance of workers with the skills American technology companies need. However, skilled immigrants from these countries could wait decades to receive employment-based green cards because of the current business immigration per-country limits. According to immigration experts, the current waiting time to process a Chinese immigrant’s employment-based green card application is 150 years.
The Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment Act
A bipartisan bill introduced by two senators on Nov. 14 would add fairness to the employment-based immigration process and eliminate the green card application bottleneck by phasing out the 7% per-country cap. The The Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment Act would leave the family-based green card per-country cap in place, but it would increase it from 7% to 15%.
Attracting skilled workers
Employment-based visas and green cards were introduced to help American companies find the skilled workers they need to remain competitive in emerging and highly competitive markets. Per-country caps on employment-based green cards are unfair to immigrants from countries with large populations like China and India, but a proposed new law would phase them out. If the EAGLE Act is passed and signed into law, long waiting times would be eliminated because employment-based green cards would be processed as they are received.