On November 29, 2011, the US Congress passed a resolution to end per-country caps on immigration visas. Although the new law would eliminate the current law disallows more than 7% employment-based visas to any country, no changes have been made to the number of visas to be issued.
Currently, the US State Department issues nearly 140,000 employment-based green cards annually to foreign nationals. The legislation known as the Chaffetz bill passed 389-15 completely eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based visas and raises the pr-country cap from 7% to 15% for family-based visas. It however makes no changes to the number of green card to be issued under this category.
The current Immigration and Nationality Act generally provides that the total number of employment-based immigrant visas made available to natives of any single foreign country in a year cannot exceed 7% of the total number of such visas made available in that year, a result of which a large number of qualified Indians and Chinese in particular are put in longer waiting line for EB-2 and EB-3 categories vs. nationals from other countries. Eliminating the per-country limit for employment-based immigrants would level the playing field to applicants from all around the world and treat everyone on a first-come, first-served basis. However, because the bill does not provide additional green cards, it does not address the current overall backlogs.