On September 22, 2011, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced HR 3012 in the House. The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act would eliminate the annual cap on green card numbers for employment-based immigrants and increase the cap for family-based immigrants. Currently, foreign nationals who are sponsored by their employers for permanent jobs in the US wait up to 8 or 9 years for a green card because per-country allocations -- originally set by Congress decades ago -- have never been raised to keep pace with changing economic and technological needs. The long waiting lists create additional hardship and expense for employers and employees alike. Employers who wish to contact their representatives to express support for HR 3012 may do so online at this House of Representatives link.
The State Department has announced the registration period for the Congressionally mandated 2013 Diversity Visa (DV) lottery. The DV lottery allows nationals from certain countries to apply for immigrant visas ("green cards") outside of the normal immigrant visa process. Individuals already being sponsored for immigrant visas by family members or employers may participate as well. Requirements include being a national of an eligible country (although an applicant may qualify based on his or her spouse's nationality) and high school education or work experience. The online registration period begins on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at noon EST, and ends on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at noon EST. Complete eligibility requirements and filing instructions can be found HERE.