The U.S. Senate Gang of Eight bipartisan committee put together a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that will be introduced to the full Senate.
This latest Bill has not been approved by the Senate or the House of Representatives. It is not law, just a start to open discussions in Congress. The Bill calls for tighter border security and also an increase in work visas. For family members, there is also a potential, limited amnesty available to foreigners already in the U.S. illegally. Here is the feature of the bill of interest to illegal foreigners:
Legalization: Allow noncitizens who are unlawfully present and who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011 to adjust status to that of Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). Eligible applicants would be required to pay a penalty and back taxes. Individuals in RPI status would receive work authorization and may travel abroad. They would also become eligible to apply for LPR status after 10 years, and can apply for naturalization 3 years after acquiring a green card. Includes generous provisions for DREAMers and agricultural workers.
Here is a short news clip further describing the bill:
Keep in mind there will be many changes and in the end there may not be any amnesty at all. If it does pass in its current form, here is a flow chart showing paths to legalization: All the paths to US citizenship in the Senate’s immigration bill, visualized.
Currently, even without amnesty it can be possible for some fiancées and spouses of US citizens to become lawful residents and for child DREAMers to obtain immigration benefits under DACA. For more information about current benefits to those in the U.S. illegally, please go to my blog post Illegal Entry – 601 Bar Waiver.