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What is the proposed U.S. Citizenship Act?

 Posted on March 01, 2021 in naturalization & citizenship

You may have heard about the Biden administration’s proposed U.S. Citizenship Act. Currently in the House and the Senate for review, this proposal will create a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who lived in the United States before January 1, 2021.

Review thecurrent terms of the Citizenship Actand explore how its passage may affect you and your family.

Legalization pathways

Undocumented individuals who arrived in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2021 would be able to apply to permanently live and work here. Applicants must pass background checks and pay outstanding taxes.

If you work in the agriculture industry, have temporary protected status or receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, you can apply for a green card right away and then become a U.S. citizen in three years. Otherwise, you canapply for a green cardin five years and then become a citizen in three years.

Outstanding asylum cases

The administration plans to reduce the backlog of asylum cases at the Mexican border by dedicated more immigration courts and more judges to these cases. The Act prioritizes aid for separated families who have remained apart after entering the U.S. from the south, eliminates provisions designed to keep families apart, and prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ couples.

In addition to these two main priorities, Biden’s team plans to streamline the process of seeking employment visas and remove limits on the number of visas issued per nation. The law would also increase the number of available Diversity Visas from 55,000 to 80,000 annually.

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