New Policy Creates Opportunities to Obtain Green Cards and Work Visas

 In Adjustment of Status, DACA, Family Immigration, Green Card, Immigration, Unlawful Presence Bars

Today, the Biden Administration announced new executive actions that will benefit undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens and graduates of U.S. colleges. These significant initiatives could help nearly one million undocumented individuals obtain lawful immigrant or nonimmigrant status. You can read the Administration’s FACT SHEET here.

Adjustment of Status for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Many people who are eligible for a green card have a difficult choice to make. Even though they may qualify for permanent residency, there is a catch. In order to obtain a green card, they would be required to leave their families in the U.S. and to back to their home countries to apply for a visa. This is because they entered the country without having been admitted or paroled and are ineligible to file for adjustment of status. To make matters worse, most will trigger a three or ten year reentry bar the moment they step over the border. Our office is often successful in obtaining a waiver that greatly minimizes the period of separation. But many are unwilling to take any chances.

The new executive policy announced this morning will eliminate this risk for an estimated 550,000 people. In order to qualify, the applicant must (1) have lived in the U.S. since at least June 17, 2014, and (2) be married to a U.S. citizen. Those who qualify will be able to “adjust status” without having to leave the country.

Visa Opportunities for U.S. College Graduates

The second policy initiative will benefit undocumented college graduates. There will be three main requirements. First, the individual must have earned a degree at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education in the United States. Second, he or she must have received an offer of employment from a U.S. employer. Third, the employment must be in a field related to their degree.

How to Apply

The application process is unknown at this time. We expect to learn the details over the next couple of weeks. We do know that the Administration will have a great deal of discretion in deciding which applications to approve. Therefore, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney. If you believe that you will qualify for either of these programs, call us today at (215) 717-8000 to schedule a consultation.

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