Numerical Limits on Permanent Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-country Ceilings

Numerical Limits on Permanent Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-country Ceilings. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Carla N. Argueta. July 28, 2016.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) specifies a complex set of numerical limits and preference categories for admitting lawful permanent residents (LPRs) that include economic priorities among the criteria for admission. Employment–based immigrants are admitted into the United States through one of the five available employment–based preference categories. Each preference category has its own eligibility criteria and numerical limits, and at times different application processes. The INA allocates 140,000 visas annually for employment–based LPRs, which amount to roughly 14% of the total 1.0 million LPRs in FY2014. The INA further specifies that each year, countries are held to a numerical limit of 7% of the worldwide level of LPR admissions, known as per–country limits or country caps.

[PDF format, 26 pages, 945.02 KB].

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