According to reports, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on the Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2022 (H.R. 3648), a bill that would phase out per-country limits on employment-based green cards and raise annual limits on family-based green cards.
The bill appears to have substantial bipartisan support, although its prospects in the current session of Congress are uncertain as the lame-duck period draws to a close. Similar legislation passed the Senate unanimously in 2020 through a fast-tracked process but could not be reconciled with the House version.
In addition to eliminating per-country limits, the House bill would also:
- Establish transition rules for employment-based visas such as (1) reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability) and EB-3 (skilled and other workers) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas, and (2) allot a number of visas for professional nurses and physical therapists.
- Impose additional requirements on an employer seeking an H-1B visa, such as prohibiting (1) an employer from advertising that a position is only open to H-1B applicants or that H-1B applicants are preferred, and (2) certain employers from having more than half of their employees as nonimmigrant visa workers.
- Require the Department of Labor (DOL) to create a publicly available website where an employer seeking an H-1B visa must post certain information about the open position.
- Expand DOL’s authority to review and investigate H-1B applications for fraud or misrepresentation.
- Allow certain people to obtain lawful permanent resident status if they (1) are in the United States as a nonimmigrant, (2) have an approved immigrant visa petition, and (3) have waited at least two years for a visa.