If the visa backlog bothers you, you should know that Congress is actually trying to address the problem. The House voted recently to end per-country caps on worker-based immigration visas. If the bill passes the Senate, the new law would improve significantly the backlog for skilled workers from India and China. However, it would also have the impact of slowing progress for all other categories and countries. A move that should benefit skilled Indian and Chinese residents seeking to stay in the United States and the high-tech companies who hire them. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffez, R-Utah, who said it would “encourage high-skilled immigrants who were educated in the U.S. to stay and help build our economy rather than using the skills they learned here to aid our competitor nations.”
The measure would eliminate the per-country limit of the current law, which is what creates the backlog for oversubscribed countries like China and India. It would not, however, increase visa numbers, even though the demand by employers is much greater than the allotted supply. Instead, employment-based permanent residence visas would be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. The bill would also increase family-based visas, an adjustment that could slightly ease the backlog for U.S. citizens who seek to bring relatives to the U.S., especially family members from Mexico and Philippines.
This bill, and other similar proposals in Congress, will improve the system somewhat, but much more is still needed. At least we see that Congress has the ability to act in unison on certain immigration issues, and improving the backlog clearly is one of them.
We will watch closely how this bill develops and will keep you informed.