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Points-based Migration to US will Eliminate Backlogs

Increased visas for professionals thru the Merit-based system; double the visa allocation for each country; converting petitions of green card holders to non-quota category as immediate relatives - and more.

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Points-based Migration to US will Eliminate Backlogs
Posted on April 18, 2013

Merit-based – Points-Tested Migration To Eliminate Visa Backlogs; Increase visas for Professionals, Workers thru Tiers and Zones

The Merit-based Immigration will replace the Diversity visas under Section 203(c) –which would be eliminated upon enactment of this bill .

For the first four (4) years immediately after enactment of this bill, the worldwide level of merit-based immigrants made available under Section 201(e )(1) – per country limits -  shall be available to EB3 aliens (Skilled Workers, professionals and Other Workers).

In addition to the Merit-based visas, said EB3 professionals and workers would still be able to use the EB3 visas within the per country limits -  i.e., for the Philippines, 25,620 for all categories.

Since the bill also proposes to more than double the per country quota to 51,496, EB3 professionals and skilled workers from the Philippines (and other countries with per-country allocation) the waiting period for applicants whose priority dates remain backlogged shall virtually be eliminated. And, those applying under the new law (upon passage of this bill) will almost certainly be current – visas would be immediately available upon approval of the EB3 petition.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 Categories

The merit-based system will create two tiers: Tier 1 for five (5) occupations with the highest number of H-1B visas admitted during the previous fiscal year.

Tier 2 refers to 1 of five occupations “for which the highest number of positions were sought to become registered by employers …during the previous fiscal year.”

Zoned Occupations

There will be five occupations by Zone – pursuant to current classifications under Occupational Information Network Database (O*NET) of the US Department of Labor.

  • Zone 1 – occupation requires little or no preparation;
  • Zone 2 – occupation requires some preparation;
  • Zone 3 – requires medium preparation;
  • Zone 4 – requires considerable preparation;
  • Zone 5 – requires extensive preparation.

Merit-based Track Two

Starting October 1, 2014 (based on presumption that the bill will pass because of strong bipartisan support) the following immigrants shall be eligible for merit-based immigrant visas:

  1. Beneficiaries of any EB-based petition under Sec. 203(b) of the Act if the visa has not been issued within five (5) years after the date of filing the petition;
  2. Beneficiaries of Family-sponsored petitions under Section 203(a) of the Act if the visa was not issued within five (5) years after petition was filed.
  3. Alien workers who have been lawfully present in the US for not less than 10 years.

Conversion of Family-based Petitions

Spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (under F2A and F2B) shall automatically be eligible for issuance of immigrant visas since the bill seeks to include them under the non-quota category of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.

For other family members (F1, F3 and F4) one-seventh of the transitional merit-based immigrant visas shall be available.

We shall keep you updated.  In the meantime, continue to contact your Relatives and Friends in the US to support this bill by contacting their representatives and Senators.  Here are the links.

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