The immigration bill is complicated and if it passes will give legal status to 11 million undocumented immigrants. That’s great because it means people will be able to work legally, get drivers’ licenses and travel out of the country. The downside is that it will take a long time, 10 years, for many to become eligible for green cards and citizenship.
But it does jumpstart the process for Dream Act kids and that’s really wonderful.
If you are a Dreamer you can get a green card in five years and will become eligible for citizenship immediately.
Details of the proposal:
1. If you are an undocumented immigrant you can apply for Registered Provisional Immigration Status if:
- You lived in the U.S. before December 31, 2011.
- Pay a $500 penalty fee. Dreamers are exempt.
- Pay back taxes.
- Pay the processing fee.
2. You’re not eligible if:
- You were convicted of a felony
- Convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors
- Convicted in another country
- Voted unlawfully
- You’re a national security or public health risk.
3. Your spouse or children can also apply under your qualifications.
4. You can get a job legally.
5. You can travel outside of the U.S.
6. Those in the U.S. prior to December 31, 2011, but deported for non-criminal reasons can apply for resident status.
7. The status lasts for 6 years and then you have to reapply and pay $500.
8. After 10 years, if you have a clean record, you can get a green card. But you must pay a $1,000 fee.
9. Dream Act immigrations and those in the Agricultural Programs get their green cards after five years. Dream Act immigrants can apply for citizenship after they get green cards.
Special Employment Visas
1. Eliminates the limit on the number of those considered extraordinary, or who have special backgrounds in sciences, the arts, medicine, business, athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; multinational executives and managers; doctoral degree holders in STEM field; and physicians who have completed the foreign residency requirements or have received a waiver.
- It allocates 40 percent of the worldwide level of employment-based visas to: 1) members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent whose services are sought in the sciences, arts, professions, or business by an employer in the United States (including certain aliens with foreign medical degrees) and 2) aliens who have earned a master’s degree or higher in a field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education and have an offer of employment in a related field and the qualifying degree was earned in the five years immediately before the petition was filed.
- The bill increases the percentage of employment visas for skilled workers, professionals, and other professionals to 40 percent, maintains the percentage of employment visas for certain special immigrants to 10 percent and maintains visas for those who foster employment creation to 10 percent.
- The bill creates a startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs who seek to emigrate to the United States to start up their own companies.
- Merit Based Visa: The merit based visa, created in the fifth year after enactment, awards points to individuals based on their education, employment, length of residence in the US and other considerations. Those individuals with the most points earn the visas. Those who access the merit based pathway to earn their visa are expected to be talented individuals, individuals in our worker programs and individuals with family here. 120,000 visas will be available per year based on merit. The number would increase by 5% per year if demand exceeds supply in any year where unemployment is under 8.5%. There will be a maximum cap of 250,000 visas.
- Under one component of this merit based system the Secretary will allocate merit-based immigrant visas beginning on October 1, 2014 for employment-based visas that have been pending for three years, family-based petitions that were filed prior to enactment and have been pending for five years, long-term alien workers and other merit based immigrant workers.
- Long–term alien workers and other merit-based immigrant workers includes those who have been lawfully present in the United States for not less than ten years and who are not admitted as a W visa under section 101(a)(15)(W) of the Act.
Remember this isn’t law yet. It’s a start.
If you are a Dreamer and haven’t applied for the Deferred Action for the Childhood Arrivals Program the time is now. Our video and free downloadable guide How to Apply for Deferred Action walk you through the process.
Loan for Deferred Action Application
There is now a no interest loan for those who can afford to pay the fee for the Deferred Action application. Watch the video No Interest Loan for Deferred Action and get the details.