A new House bill has been introduced that could allow thousands of people access to green cards.
A new House bill may provide green card relief for thousands of families and individuals that have been waiting for the backlog to clear for several years. The bill could also allow many illegal immigrants to obtain legal status. The bill will not change the permanent structure of the immigration system in America, but it will give people more opportunities to gain permanent residence status than the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.
It was on September 10, 2021 that the House Judiciary Committee issued a statement about the committee print for the Committee markup. Before the bill can become law, the Judiciary Committee would have to approve of the provisions. It is not yet known if the Senate will allow the Democrats to include provisions using the reconciliation process, which could prevent a filibuster. The Democrats would only be allowed to do this if enough of the party supports the provisions.
Family and Employment-Based Immigrants
The committee print allows people with a priority date over two years prior, and who are applying for employment- based immigration, to gain permanent residence status if they pay a supplemental fee of $5,000. These provisions expire as of 2031. Immigrants that are being sponsored by a family member and with a priority date that is more than two years prior can gain permanent resident status without numerical limits by paying a $2,500 supplemental fee. If an applicant’s priority date does not fall within the two-year timeline, they can still apply to adjust their status, but the fees differ slightly.
It is not uncommon for employment-based immigrants to be considered “essential workers” and when this is the case, the bill would allow many to adjust to permanent resident status. The industries supported by essential workers include, but are not limited to, food and agriculture, defense, information technology systems, telecommunications, medical and healthcare, and energy, water, and wastewater.
Individuals who have been physically present on a continual basis since January 1, 2021, and who arrived before they were 18 years of age, can also receive permanent resident status if they pay a $1,500 supplemental fee. This specific measure would help those that entered the country through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), as well as people that did not qualify for DACA. As with much of the rest of the bill, this provision would apply to individuals with both legal and non-legal status.
Need to Change Your Status? Our Immigration Lawyers in Nashville Can Help
If you are an immigrant in the United States and are wondering if the new bill affects you, call our Nashville immigration lawyers at Ozment Law, PLC, to obtain the legal advice you need. We will review the facts of your case, advise you of your legal options, and guide you through the process that is most appropriate for your case. Call us today at 615-321-8888 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our seasoned attorneys.