By year 2015, the United States would have no limits or quota for highly foreign skilled workers applying as immigrants under America’s Employment-based categories, upon enactment into law of a bill introduced to eliminate employment-based immigrant visa yearly cap.

Currently, skilled professionals and workers who have approved petitions in the Employment-based 3rd preference categories face a 6-9 year wait, such as India and China (see November Visa Bulletin from the US Dept. of State, for the EB 2, 3 and Other Worker categories, below).

Employment-based-categories

All areas except those listed

China – Mainland born

India

Mexico

Philippines

2nd

C

01Nov07

01Nov07

C

C

3rd

C

22Aug04

22Jul02

22Dec05

22Dec05

Other Workers

22Dec05

22Apr03

15Jun02

15Nov05

15Nov05

On September 22, 2011, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, of Utah’s 3rd Congressional District introduced HR 3012,  the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrant Act.  On October 27, 2011, the bill has been approved by the full House Judiciary Committee, sent to the House floor awaiting action.  Given America’s 9.0% unemployment rate and an anemic growth rate, the passage of Chaffetz (pronounced “Chay-fitz)”) bill is short of outstanding bipartisan action.

Apparently, Chaffetz realized the need for America to compete for the highly skilled immigrants that are moving north to Canada as well as to Australia and New Zealand.

Canada announced on 3 November that it plans to increase yearly immigrant visa numbers to skilled workers from 47,000 to 57,000.

What HR 3012 Will Do

The Chaffetz bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to: (1) eliminate the per country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, and (2) increase the per country numerical limitation for family based immigrants without increasing the total yearly allocation.  It also amends the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992 to eliminate the provision requiring the reduction of annual Chinese (PRC) immigrant visas to offset status adjustments under such Act.

 The bill aims to increase America’s competitiveness in the world market by actively recruiting the best, highly trained and skilled workers of the world.

Congressman Chaffetz, who introduced HR 3012, was reported to have said that, “The current percentage cap has created a backlog of qualified workers. American companies view all highly skilled immigrants as the same regardless of where they are from, and our immigration policy should do the same.”

U.S. Citizenship.info blogs: “A lot would happen if this bill is passed. The country based EB backlogs will be done away with. The way that visa numbers are allotted will change. If there were no more per country limits, all the priority dates would be current.

 Under current law, US employers are allowed to recruit foreign workers only when there aren’t any US workers eligible, willing or available to take up the job, called the Permanent Labor Certification process, a confusing and tedious process dubbed as PERM.  Under PERM Employers must assure the US Department of Labor and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services that recruitment of foreign workers will not affect the wages or working conditions of US workers.

HR 3012 upon passing, will allow US employers to hire foreign nationals on a first come first served basis and benefit from the best skill sets available to them.

To countries like the Philippines, it will be a very nice Christmas present especially for registered nurses who have approved EB3 petitions but face a 4-6 year wait, and family members would be able to join their petitioner/sponsors because of the increased family visa allocation.

 

The Man Behind No Visa Limits

Selected by House leadership to chair the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, Jason Chaffetz (pronounced “Chay-Fits”) enters his second year of Congress with energy, enthusiasm, and a determination to continue reforming Washington, D.C.

Believing in the core conservative principles of a strong national defense, fiscal disciple, limited government, and accountability, Mr. Chaffetz distinguished himself as a budget hawk by co-founding the Sunset Caucus, identifying budget cutting measures, running a lean office that gave money back at the end of each year, and sleeping on a cot in the closet of his office.  He was asked by House Speaker John Boehner to chair the House Technology Operations Team, was featured regularly on CNN’s freshman year, and consistently appears in local and national media outlets to communicate the conservative message.

On November 4, 2008, Mr. Chaffetz was elected by a 37-point margin to represent Utah’s Third Congressional District.  To secure the Republican nomination, Mr. Chaffetz unseated a 12-year incumbent by a 20-point margin, and did so with no paid campaign staff, no polling, no free meals for potential voters, no campaign office, and a refusal to go into debt to finance the campaign.  Despite being outspent by over $600,000, Mr. Chaffetz’ approach to conservative principles resonated with voters and resulted in an unprecedented victory.

Mr. Chaffetz comes to Congress with a 16-year history in the local business community, executive branch experience in Utah State government, a reputation for running strong political campaigns, and a distinguished college football career.

Mr. Chaffetz, who grew up in California, Arizona, and Colorado, was invited to Utah in the mid-1980s by the legendary Brigham Young University football coach LaVell Edwards to be a placekicker.  His years at BYU literally transformed his life.

After a successful football career that included two years as the starting placekicker and two school records, Mr. Chaffetz earned a degree in communications and married Julie Johnson of Mesa, Arizona.  In February, Mr. and Mrs. Chaffetz celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

In 1995, Mr. Chaffetz’s mother passed away after a long fight with cancer.  Consequently, he was deeply touched by the overwhelming generosity of the Utah-based Huntsman family in fighting the disease that killed his mother.  Their commitment was more than words as they personally donated hundreds of millions of dollars to research and treat cancer.

Upon reading an article about Jon Huntsman, Jr. potentially running for Governor of Utah, Mr. Chaffetz sought to meet the man who had given so much to fight cancer.  Through a mutual friend, a meeting was set up and Mr. Chaffetz eventually joined the Huntsman for Governor staff.  Shortly thereafter, Mr. Chaffetz was named Campaign Manager.  In a crowded field of contenders, Huntsman triumphed by running a well-organized, positive campaign and became Utah’s 16th Governor.  The Governor invited Mr. Chaffetz to continue working with him as his Chief of Staff.

Mr. Chaffetz used his time in the Governor’s Office to learn about the federal delegation and the issues that matter to the State of Utah.  As Utah’s representative in Congress, he is committed to represent Utah to Washington, not Washington to Utah.

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