Main Points of the Proposed Senate Immigration Bill

Thứ Tư, 24 Tháng Tư 201300:00(Xem: 13732)
Main Points of the Proposed Senate Immigration Bill
By the time that a final form of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) reaches President Obama for his signature, there will be dozens of changes, both in the Senate and House versions of the CIR. We will keep you informed of the developments but we stress that for the next few months, everything will be in the “proposed” category. And even after a final form of the CIR is passed into law, it will be another six months before the changes begin to take effect.

The Senate bill shows a shift in the immigration system. Up to now, immigration laws have focused on family ties. The new Senate CIR will focus more on immigrants’ skills and employment potential. The Senate proposal contains several changes that aim at rebalancing the immigration system. Right now, the immigration system gives 15 percent of green cards to people with employment visas, and most of the green cards go to people with family ties. The Senate CIR would give 45 percent to 50 percent of green cards based on employment.
Here are some of the main points of the proposed Senate Immigration plan:

· The F-4 category for siblings of U. S. citizens will be discontinued, but anyone with a petition already on file with CIS will reach the front of the line. It appears that CIS will continue to accept new F4 petitions until a new CIR becomes law.
The F3 category for married children of US citizens would remain, but only for sons and daughters under 32 years of age at the time of filing the petition.
· The F-2A category for a Permanent Resident’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 will be moved into a non-quota category, just like the spouse and children of US Citizens. This will speed up this category tremendously.
· The bill changes the waiting period for a green card holder before applying to citizenship, from five years to three years.
· There will be no "special" path to citizenship for the approximate 11.5 million undocumented immigrants. They will have to wait 10 years before beginning to apply for green cards. During that time, they would be able to work legally but barred from federal benefits like welfare or health care. After they receive a green card, they could apply for citizenship in 3 years. They will be eligible for merit green cards if they remain in good standing, have learned English and passed other requirements, and remain employed for 10 years.
· The cutoff date for undocumented immigrants to benefit from the Senate CIR bill will be entry to the U.S. by December 31, 2011.
· Young people brought here illegally as youths would have a faster path: they could get green cards in five years and would become eligible to apply for citizenship as soon as they get their green cards.
· For the H-1B program for temporary skilled workers, there will be more visas.
· A new startup visa will be created for foreign entrepreneurs trying to come here to start their own companies.
· Five years after the new CIR becomes law, a new “merit-based visa” will be created. It will start by giving 120,000 visas a year, and awarding points based on talent, employment and family ties.
Billions of dollars would be poured into border security, and millions of people who've been waiting overseas for years, sometimes decades, in legal immigration backlogs would see their cases speeded up.

Republican senators in the Gang of Eight are focused on border security and legal enforcement, while the Democratic priority is to make citizenship widely available. The Senate CIR is the compromise between the two groups.

Q.1. Is there still time for US citizens to start sponsoring their siblings and married children?
A.1. F4 petitions for siblings and F3 petitions for married children should be submitted to CIS as soon as possible, before a new CIR becomes law. If the F4 category is discontinued, siblings of US citizens would have to be sponsored by a US citizen parent, in another category, such as the F1 or F3 if they are not too old to qualify for F3.

Q.2 The Senate CIR applies to immigrants who entered the US illegally up to December 31, 2011. What about people who entered the US after that date?
A.2. Anyone entering after that date will not be eligible for legalization and will be considered deportable.

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