Green Cards for Businesses
Current immigration policy places a cap of 140,000 on employment-based immigrant visas, which are divided into five preference categories. These categories are: priority workers; professionals holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability; skilled workers; special immigrants; and employment creation investors. Spouses and children accompanying the worker count toward the cap. Just as in the family immigration system, significant backlogs exist in the employment-based green card system even as U.S. businesses face a variety of skill needs and a shortage of American workers to fill those needs. Depending on the country they come from, some of these skilled workers are facing unfathomable wait times.
Talented immigrants have made and continue to make crucial contributions to the development of next-generation technologies and have founded some of the most innovative businesses in the United States. As global economic integration deepens, sustainable growth will depend in part on our continued ability to attract the brightest innovators. To alleviate the severe backlog problem, policy reforms should allow for the use of unused employment-based visas from prior years while exempting spouses and children-as well as graduates from U.S. institutions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math-from employment-based green card limits.