Passing of H.R. 3012 bill- A possible blessing for immigrants of certain countries like India, China, The Philippines and Mexico?

It’s great news for immigrants from India and China waiting their Visa processing! The recent passing of H.R. 3012 in the House of Representatives, is a possible boon for all such people who have been in the queue since years to see their ‘Green cards’ processed. Given the fact that till now skilled workers from India and China( specifically) as well as those awaiting family Visas had to face a wait of up to 70 years before they could be granted one, this is indeed stupendous news!  Note that the bill still needs to be passed in the Senate.  We are all awaiting impatiently that the Senate passes H.R 3012.

About the Bill H.R. 3012

The bill H.R. 3012 was passed on the 29th of November, 2011 with a landslide margin of 389-15 vote. Introduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz, (a conservative Republican from Utah) and Lamar Smith, (a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee), the bill seeks to eliminate the employment-based per country cap entirely by 2015 and also raise the family-sponsored per-country cap from 7% to 15%.

The impact of the bill

The main impact of the bill will be to reduce visa backlogs that are faced by most Indian and Chinese Nationals. It will be a great boon for those who have so long been working in the US with temporary visas. Thought the bill might be more related to work related Visas, it will also benefit those who have been waiting for family-based visas for so long.

The bill H.R. 3012 is a welcome break for all those American technology companies which have been complaining since long and requesting the Congress to offer more and easier processing of green cards to their foreign employees.  The delay in the immigration process has in fact been leading to the United States losing out in global competition by forcing immigrants, whose visas have not been processed fast enough to leave the country.

Before the voting on passing the bill H.R. 3012 began Republican representative Mr Smith said “This legislation makes sense,” Mr. Smith said before the vote. “Why should American employers who seek green cards for skilled foreign workers have to wait longer just because the workers are from India or China?”

Why bill H.R. 3012 is so important

Because of the rule of the per country limits, people born in India and China have so long been affected by Visa processing backlogs. Because each country is entitled only to 7 percent of the total allocation of visas under each preference, a country like Iceland with a population of only 300,000 has the same allocation as countries with a population of more than a billion people, like India or China. In cases of Employment-based second preference (EB-2), Indians and Chinese have to wait for more than 5 years to obtain green cards. In comparison people from other countries have no such problems. In cases of (EB-3) Employment-based third preference for India, based on the rule of per country limit for India, only 2,800 visas can be allocated each year. This is in contrast to some 210,000 Indians, and their dependants, seeking green cards. As a result, of this the waiting time for processing a Green card under the EB-3 section could be as long as 70 years! More importantly, the easy passing of H.R. 3012 shows that American system is concerned about the unfairness and imbalance that has so far been practiced towards countries like China and India.


Some Important facts about H.R. 3012      


–          The legislation includes a clause that will help double the green cards based on family ties available for Filipinos and Mexicans. The bill raises the country limit for 226,000 family green cards each year from the current 7 percent to 15 percent.

–          It must be understood that H.R. 3012 only redistributes the allocation of visas. It does not increase the number of visas that are fixed for each year.

–          While Indians and Chinese still need to wait, only, it may not be for as long as earlier. On the other hand those who did not have to wait for the EB-2 will now need to wait. It is estimated that eventually the waiting time for all countries will be 1-2 years for the EB-2. The EB-3 wait might be reduced for Indians to 10-12 years.

–          H.R. 3012 may not be a perfect bill, moreover it has still to be passed by the Senate before it becomes law.

A Democrat who is outspoken liberal on immigration, Representatives Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois said after the bill was passed- “We need bigger fixes to our legal immigration system so that employers and families use official channels, not black-market ones. We want people to go through the system, not around it.”

Definitely but H.R. 3012 is a big step towards a positive future in Immigration laws.


Written by admin

Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law and debt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques. His law group, Shah Peerally Law Group, has represented clients all over the United States constantly dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Custom Enforcement(ICE) and CBP (Customs Border Patrol (CBP) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This department was formerly known as the Immigration and Nationality Services (INS).