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  • Democrat Representative Zoe Lofgren and Republican John Curtis introduced the Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives.
  • The bill will be advantageous for Indian job-seekers who currently rely on temporary visas or await green cards to work in the US.

EAGLE Act about per-country limit:

  • The bipartisan act seeks to phase out the seven percent per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas and raises the per-country limit on family-sponsored visas from 7% to 15%.

  • It provides for a nine-year period for the elimination of this limit.

  • The 7% limit was introduced in the mid-20th century, which has led countries with relatively small populations to be allocated the same number of visas as a relatively large-population country.

How it is helpful to Indians

  • Think-tank Cato Institute had reported in March 2020 that 75 per cent of the backlog for employment‐based visas was made up of Indians.

  • With the EAGLE Act, the per-country cap would be removed, which may expedite the petitions for those applying for employment-based green cards.

  • However, since the highest number of applicants are from India and China, the EAGLE Act also seeks to reserve visas for ‘Lower Admission States’ for nine fiscal years (FY).

  • While 30 per cent of employment-based visas will be reserved in FY1, this would be reduced to five per cent in FY 7, 8 and 9.

  • The bill also ensures that “no country may receive more than 25 per cent of reserved visas and no country may receive more than 85 per cent of unreserved visas,” in the nine fiscal years."