Summarization of proposed Immigration bill
The proposed legislation crafted by a group of four Democratic senators: Schumer, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans McCain, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida has brought forward many important proposals affecting a large spectrum of – Immigration, Visa, Employment and border security force. Let us take a look at some of main the proposed suggestions.
There is a huge concern about securing the borders of the US, especially the high risk areas in order to curb the problem of illegal migrants. This will be a side by side effort that will be achieved in a twofold manner by-
Legalization of illegal immigrants
Individuals in unlawful status may apply to adjust their status to the legal status of Registered Provisional Immigrant Status provided-
• They are staying the United States since December 31, 2011 and have continuously physically remained there.
• They have paid a penalty of $500 fee (except for DREAM Act eligible students), and back taxes and all other applicable fees.
Immigrants not applicable for legalization, if they have been convicted of an aggravated felony, convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors; been convicted of an offense under foreign law; have voted unlawfully if there has been any breach on Criminal, National Security, Public Health, or other morality grounds.
Some particulars for petitioning of RPI status
Spouses and children of people in RPI status can be petitioned as derivatives of the principal applicant and must be in the United States at the time of petition.
While in RPI status, an immigrant can work for any employer and travel outside of the United States too.
Those outside of the United States who were here before December 31, 2011 and might have been deported on non-criminal reasons can apply to re-enter through RPI status if they are the spouse, of or parent of a child who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
Application period will be for 1 year with the possibility of extension by the Secretary for an additional 1 year.
Provisions mentioned for Legal Immigration
• From the present four preference categories based on family relationships 480,000 visas are allocated to family. The new system will have two family preference categories covering unmarried adult children; married adult children who file before age 31, and unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents. The current V visa is being expanded to include those with family relations.
• 40 percent of the worldwide level of employment-based visas will be allotted to : 1) members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent whose services are sought in the sciences and 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.
• Proposes increasing the percentage of employment visas for skilled workers, professionals, and other professionals to 40 percent.
• Creation of a startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs immigrating to the US to start their own companies.
• 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.
New W-Visa Program for Lower-Skilled Workers
• A new nonimmigrant classification known as the W-Visa allows an alien to come to the US to work for a registered employer. The W-Visa holder’s spouse and minor children will be allowed to accompany and given work authorization for the period the W-visa nonimmigrant is allowed in the US.
• A certified alien may be granted W nonimmigrant status for an initial period of three years and may renew his or her status for additional three year periods.
Cap on Visas
• The cap for W visas will be split into two six month segments in a year. The annual cap on the maximum number of registered positions that may be approved each year are limited for the first four years, 20,000 for the first year; 35,000 the second year; 55,000 the third year and 75,000 the fourth year.
• In addition to the number of registered positions made available for a given year, the Commissioner is at liberty to make available an additional number of registered positions for shortage occupations in a particular geographical area.
Please note that this bill is not a final bill. It still need to go through the Senate and then has to be signed by the President to become law. Therefore we advise caution on all the readers not to take this as the final draft. For more information call us at 510 742 5887.