Recently, there is a lengthy discussion about HR392 (fairness for skilled immigrant workers) in the US house and senate. It means if this bill will be passed by the house and senate, the limitation of green card for immigrants based on their birth country will be lifted and whoever came first to the US will be served first. As a result, due to huge backlog of Indian and Chinese immigrants waiting for their green card, it will take 10 years for other foreign citizens to be able to apply for adjustment of status.

My question is, if it will be passed, is it really putting the rest of the world behind the Indian and Chinese people in the green card backlog?

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    The effect is that two countries would be vastly overrepresented in terms of US immigration instead of the current diversity based approach. Aug 15, 2019 at 23:52
  • @JonathanReez Of course, but it's just surprising that the new version of HR392, which is called HR1044, is already passed in the US House... Aug 15, 2019 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


From a raw numbers perspective. China and India account collectively for roughly 35% of the world's population. So just from a raw numbers perspective, in terms of potential applicants the "line" into the US will likely have a lot of Chinese and Indian applicants.

All things being equal, if the queue to enter the US was open to all and all got in line, then about one third of the line would be Chinese / Indian.

However, it's not just a matter of getting in line, but also of need and ability to contribute. The US has a lot of guidelines which decide if someone enters the US or not.

One point to note:

Employment-Based Immigration

The United States provides various ways for immigrants with valuable skills to come to the country on either a permanent or a temporary basis.

This is important because not all applicants and nations are equal. So, maybe educational spending might indicate whether a person is more employable.

Maybe it's more about the TYPE of education, in which case: Yes China and India will likely definitely fill the front of the queue.

It might very well be the case that indeed there will be a lot of Chinese and Indian immigrants.

Indian applicants also have the additional advantage of being one of the most populous English speaking countries on the planet.

So Indians in particular have a good education, marketable skills and speak english. If a country like the US is in need of skilled workers, then Indians and Chinese will likely be the most successful in trying to emigrate from their homelands. Science and Technology drive wealthy economies, it's inevitable that the US will want skilled labor from abroad if it can't get it at home.

  • Your answer ignores the fact that there is a limitation for green cards available for each nation in each fiscal year. The main idea of HR392 is pretty much related to lifting this limitation, which is mentioned clearly in the question. If this limitation will be lifted and the US wants to make available the green card for people based on first come, first serve, it means a lot of people should go before Chinese and Indian people in the green card line cause there is a huge backlog according USCIS reports for Indian and Chinese people from 2009. Oct 19, 2018 at 22:03
  • Another aspect of lifting this limitation, which I'm truly interested to know, is that: does it really put ALL the people behind the Chinese and Indian people in the green card line? It looks really strange to me that the US wants to put for example German or British green card applicants behind Chinese and Indian people cause we can't ignore the fact that the US has some strong interests in some part of the globe historically (i.e. have military bases for example in Germany, Japan or South Korea), which will be really strange if the US wants to forgot the citizens of his close allies. Oct 19, 2018 at 22:08
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    @alone_programmer You are crediting the people writing this law with foresight, a questionable proposition to some of us in America. Nov 2, 2018 at 20:22
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    On the negative side (from some perspectives anyway), there is likely a far bigger incentive to immigrate to the US for people from developing countries where pay is much lower, hence the salary difference would be much higher. This would presumably imply a larger effect on domestic salaries from the new competition. Also, developing countries tend to be more corrupt, meaning it is more likely the credentials (degrees etc.) are fake or extremely low quality, hence the quality of the skills of immigrants would be lowered. Aug 15, 2019 at 23:18

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