Per-Country Caps on Employment Green Cards in the United States
Many prospective immigrants to the United States are aware that employment-based green cards represent an excellent option – but what happens if too many people apply from a single country? Per-country caps play an important role in the United States immigration system, and immigrants should be aware of these factors as they seek appropriate visas. What exactly are per-country immigration caps, and how might they affect an immigrant’s ability to settle in the United States?
What Are Per-Country Caps for US Immigration?
As the name suggests, per-country caps represent immigration limits for each country. A nation cannot exceed these limits when it comes to their citizens relocating to the United States. There may be different caps associated with different types of visas. For example, there might be very few limits associated with tourist visas – but very low limits associated with certain employment visas.
Why does the United States impose these limits? The goal is to ensure fairness in the international community while promoting diversity. The argument is that people of all nationalities should have an opportunity to relocate to the United States, and certain visas should not be monopolized by one particular nation. With these caps, the United States is seeking to avoid overrepresentation within one particular nationality.
There are various types of caps to consider when it comes to US immigration. As of this writing, immigration laws only allow about 140,000 total employment-based green cards each year. Within these 140,000 green cards, the federal government only accepts a maximum of 7% from any individual nation. In practice, this equates to a maximum of about 10,000 people per country.
Not only does this indicate a high level of competition between foreign workers, but it also suggests a slightly arbitrary approach to immigration in the United States. Theoretically, a more skilled worker could lose their visa to a less skilled worker – simply because the less skilled worker is from an underrepresented country. This issue has sparked considerable debate within the international community – with many calling for comprehensive immigration-cap reform.
Per-Country Caps May Change in the Near Future
Reforms to immigration caps may be arriving sooner than many realize – presenting new opportunities for workers who wish to relocate to the United States. A new bill has been introduced in the United States by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. If passed, this bill could completely eliminate per-country caps on employment-based green cards. This would not only benefit individual workers, but also their families. This act is being viewed with particular interest by workers in countries like China and India, which tend to have many highly skilled workers.
Find a Qualified, Experienced Immigration Attorney in Palm Beach County
Those who wish to learn more about per-country caps, employment-based visas, and many other relevant factors should consider booking a consultation with a Palm Beach County immigration attorney. Choose the Devore Law Group to discuss these subjects and many others during a consultation. While internet research represents a positive first step, an attorney can provide more targeted guidance. Reach out today to get started.