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Posted by: ScottMond Law Firm
April 24, 2013
Topic: Green Card

Immigration Reform - Finally here! Or Finally Here?

On April 16th a group of senators introduced S.744. This is essentially a Bill for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. With hopes and expectations at a high, the questions still remain what it will look like and when it will finally become law. This short blog post focuses on the Visa Bulletin and how Foreign Nationals filing Family Based and Employment Based Applications for Green Cards will be impacted and helped.

The Visa Bulletin, which is issued by the Department of State monthly, allows individuals to know what date he or she will be eligible for a Permanent Visa (i.e. Green Card) to immigrate or adjust status in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security adheres very strictly to this schedule.

Family Based Green Cards

Currently, only U.S. Citizens' qualified relatives are afforded immediate eligibility to apply for a U.S. Permanent Resident Status. Spouses and Children of U.S. Permanent Residents would be treated the same as U.S. Citizens' immediate relatives without the need to track priority dates. This means no longer would only children under the age of 21, Spouses of U.S. Citizens, and Parents of U.S. Citizens be the only qualified relatives eligible to "immediately" immigrate to the U.S. without waiting years for visa number to become available.

This is also good news for individuals in Removal & Deportation Proceedings as well. A U.S. Immigration Judge would be more likely to Stay removal from the United States if this change were to be implemented due to reduced wait times and actual relief in sight.

Employment Based Green Cards

The current wait times for especially the EB-3 category (4 year degreed workers) has been very lengthy in recent years combined with the need to be Pre-Certified by the Department of Labor Process. Therefore, Foreign Nationals have had to wait until they were qualified for a higher position to meet EB-2 or EB-1 requirements which matched a U.S. Employers needs. Also, the caps could not be reached.

Also, the path to Permanent Resident status for Foreign National investors and entrepreneurs has been very tenuous and complex. Options are often limited to complex intra company transfers or visas for Foreign National multi-millionaires or billionaires exclusively.

The proposed Bill could help considerably. EB-1 immigrants, physicians (with foreign residency requirement), holders of doctoral degrees and their qualified relatives (derivatives) would be able to apply for an employment based Green card without a quota. Also, an EB-6 category would include "certain" entrepreneurs who are currently excluded based on the existing Federal Regulations governing Foreign Nationals who invest and set up businesses in the United States.

We are currently providing consultations to discuss the proposed regulations, along with new laws that have actually passed. Please visit us at where our contact information is conveniently located for our offices throughout the D.C. metro area serving clients worldwide.

ScottMond Law Firm

Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

Offices in District of Columbia, Maryland & Virginia

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