Featured Issue: Legislation Impacting the Per-Country Numerical Limitation

On February 7, 2019, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 was introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 1044 / S. 386). If enacted, this bill would eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for all employment-based immigrants, and increase the per-country limitation for all family-sponsored immigrants from seven percent to 15 percent. One significant feature of this bill that distinguishes it from prior versions of this legislation is a "do no harm" provision. This provision states that no one who is the beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant visa petition approved before the bill's enactment shall receive a visa later than if the bill had never been enacted. Notably, the "do no harm" provision only applies to employment-based immigrants and does not apply to family-sponsored immigrants.

Given the recent passage of H.R. 1044, Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, on July 10, 2019, AILA has curated the following webpage where AILA members can quickly and easily view the House and Senate bills, AILA resources on this legislation, related bills, and other relevant resources. Given the divergent views of our members regarding this legislation, AILA has not taken a position on the bill. However, as we recognize the significant impact this legislation would have on our members' practices if enacted, AILA is committed to providing relevant resources on this legislation on the following webpage.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

AILA Resources on the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

Other Related Legislation in the 116th Congress Impacting Per Country Numerical Limitation

Analysis Regarding the Impact of Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act

AILA is not aware of a comprehensive, independent, and publicly available analysis regarding how the House and Senate versions of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 would impact both the current employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant visa queues as well as future immigration flows. There are, however, a handful of piecemeal analysis that have been conducted on the impacts of per-country legislation, which are provided below. Note that two of these resources, specifically the Congressional Research Service reports, were published before the introduction of H.R. 1044 and S. 386 and therefore do not take into consideration the impact of the "do no harm" provision on employment-based immigrants.

Governmental Resources

Non-Governmental Resources

AILA Insights on Per Country Legislation

AILA Insight is an informative digest with articles written by AILA members. Articles are shared as they are submitted and are compiled and distributed to AILA members on a quarterly basis. The speaker's/author's views do not necessarily represent the views of AILA.

Overview of the Per-Country Numerical Limitation on Immigrant Visa Issuances

Resources on Immigrant Visa Backlog

Sampling of Articles in the Media

The following articles are a sampling of news coverage regarding the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019. This list of articles is not exhaustive. The viewpoints expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent the views of AILA.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19080632.