On January 20, 2021, President Biden sent to Congress a proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. This is the first real possibility since 2013 that meaningful immigration reform may actually become a reality. Be aware, however, that even though this is very hopeful news for millions of immigrants, there is currently no new law in effect. Rather, this is just a legislative proposal. It will likely take several months and a lot of negotiation before any new legislation passes Congress.
In the interim, DO NOT pay anyone to begin processing any immigration application based on a “new law” as there is no new law in place. A complete text of the proposed legislation has not been released, so no one knows all of the specifics. Therefore, no one is able to screen individuals for eligibility at this time. All that immigration attorneys currently have is a broad overview of certain provisions contained in the proposal. Specifics regarding exactly who will qualify and what factors will disqualify an individual are not yet known.
Currently the proposed legislation contains the following provisions:
- Certain undocumented individuals will be able to apply for temporary legal status
- After 5 years in temporary status, individuals will be able to self-petition for LPR status
- After 3 years as an LPR, will be eligible to apply for citizenship
- Individuals must have been physically present in the U.S. on or before January 1, 2021
- If deported on or after 1-20-17 and physically present in U.S. for at least 3 years prior to removal, may be eligible to ask for a waiver of the physical presence requirement. Essentially, this would create a pathway back to the U.S.
- Eliminates 3 and 10 year unlawful presence bars
- Clears backlogs for family and employment categories shortening the wait time for a visa number
- Creates a direct pathway for DACA recipients to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status
- Creates a direct pathway for TPS recipients to apply for LPR status
- Increases U-visa cap from 10,000 to 30,000
Keep in mind that the legislation that actually passes, if any, will likely be different from the proposal. The Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen will continue to monitor any progress in the legislative process and will notify existing clients as soon as there are concrete details. If you would like to be added to our contact list, please call us at 704-727-4900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.'