HR1044/S-386 failed again // Path to get a Green Card

Congress leaders reached $900 billion stimulus package deal yesterday Dec 20, 2020 and many were in the hope HR-1044/any immigration reform bill would be added. The legislative text is out and there are almost zero immigration policy changes that indicates HR1044 is dead again.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren statement on the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.

What Next? – Nothing, just hope, perhaps another bill that will convince congressmen to stop discrimination against skilled workers. If Democrats go on to win the 2 senate seats in Georgia, that gives more control both House and Senate and get thru any bills.


Earlier S386 Bill, The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act passes the Senate on Dec 2, 2020.

Any differences between bills, HR-1044 and S-386 have to be reconciled and passed in the Senate and the House again. Once it is approved following the President Signature, it will be implemented starting Oct 1, 2022.

The congress had already extended the timeline by a week and Dec 18, 2020 was the last day because 2 major bills being discussed in the congress right now, one is the Omnibus bill, the spending measures bill to help the economy and another is Corona virus relief bill.

Now the timeline again extended till the weekend (End of the day Sunday Dec 20, 2020) or possibly Monday Dec 21, 2020, so congress can work through to pass the bill.

So where is HR1044/S-386? With the bigger bills around, chances for smaller bills to go under the table. Not only that, S386 bill passed by unanimous consent in the Senate is an amended bill from HR1044 which was originally approved in the House back in 2019.

Sen. Scott from Florida amended the bill to add “Bar adjustment of status to all Chinese “affiliated” with the Chinese Communist Party”. Sen. Scott language requires DHS to “not adjust status of any alien affiliated with the military forces of the People’s Republic of China or the Chinese Communist Party” (CCP).

Some Organizations & attorneys opposed the Anti-Chinese Provision added to Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which brought a challenge in passing in the House.

Everything You Need to Know about S386 that passed in Senate

If you’ve been in the United States long enough on a visa, you will know that the process of getting a green card is not quite easy, particularly for people from India and China to some extend because of the per-country limit, as there are many people coming from these countries.

Eventually, efforts were taken for the cause in the year 2019. The HR 1044 Bill cleared the House, also referred to as the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019,” in the attempt of amending the Immigration and nationality act – eliminating the per-country numerical limit for those working in the United States on a L or a H1B visa.

HR 1044 is the old bill passed in House in 2019. Politicians have had some issues with the regulations in this bill and have called for amendments. Senators have deliberated about this matter and drew up Bill S-386 to amend the situation.

S-386 at a Glance

  • 7% per-country numerical limit removed.
  • ROW Gains 5.75% of Reserved Green Cards
  • No Increase in GC numbers
  • File I-485 to get EAD and other benefits after I-140 approval, provided.
    • If I-140 has been approved for 2 years or I-140 has been pending for more than 270 calendar days.
    • Importantly, filing the I-485 protects the aging out kids.
  • 9 years transition period added to reserve green cards for non-Indian and non-Chinese applicants.
    • 1st Year – 30% reserved for ROW, 70% for India,China.
    • 2nd Year – 25% reserved for ROW, 75% for India,China.
    • 3rd Year – 20% reserved for ROW, 80% for India,China.
    • 4th Year – 15% reserved for ROW, 85% for India,China.
    • 5th & 6th Year – 10% reserved for ROW, 90% for India,China.
    • 7,8 and 9th Year – 5% reserved for ROW, 95% for India,China.
    • 4400 Green card reserved for Nurses & Physical Therapists
    • 10th year and after – No more than 50% of total green cards can be given per year to employment-based workers.
  • H-1B 50/50 Rule.
    • US companies with more than 50 employees who rely on H1B/ L1 visa for more than 50% of their workforce cannot sponsor H1B workers for employment in the US.This will be applicable for new H1B lottery applications only. H1B extensions, transfers and amendments have been excluded.
  • Dependent Status Protection for H4, L2
    • Dependent spouse and kids will be allowed to stay in the US even if something happens to the primary H1B visa holder.
  • Family based GC limits are raised from 7% to 15%.
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