Comprehensive immigration reform has been looming on the horizon for over two years now.  Ever since the Senate agreed to its own bill last summer, immigration advocates and opponents alike have been waiting for the House of Representatives to pass legislation addressing the fractured U.S. immigration system.

Unfortunately, the country continues to wait as the momentum to pass comprehensive immigration reform has slowed and party politics have thus far gotten in the way of further progress.  In the meantime, many foreign nationals contact our office to discuss how and if the proposed immigration reforms will affect them.

Since no law has been passed as of July 2014, it cannot be ascertained with a large degree of certainty how any new law will or will not affect any given person.  However, based upon media reports of what the new law will likely contain, we can predict how the immigration system will change and how those changes may affect the different groups of foreign nationals.

I have authorization to be in the U.S.

If you are in the U.S. with authorization, you may be affected by the proposed changes in green card options.  For instance, one of the suggested changes for immigration reform is to expand the number of green cards that can be made available to foreign nationals who obtain U.S. Master’s degrees in one of the STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics.  Thus, if you are a foreign student, immigration reform may beneficially affect you.

Conversely, another change that may diminish your chances of applying for a green card relates to family-based immigration.  Currently, U.S. citizens are eligible to sponsor their brothers and sisters for green cards.  However, there is a proposed new rule that would remove this eligibility. Therefore, if your brother or sister is a U.S. citizen, immigration reform may adversely affect you.

I do not have authorization to be in the U.S.

If you do not have authorization to be in the U.S. and you are already in the country, you are part of the group of foreign nationals who will likely be most affected by any comprehensive immigration reform. Depending on your age, criminal background, veteran status, and other factors, immigration reform may beneficially affect you by providing a pathway to obtaining a green card and possibly U.S. citizenship.

Our office is constantly monitoring the movement on comprehensive immigration reform, and we are also happy to discuss your possible immigration options under the current laws.  Contact our office today to speak to us about your case.  We look forward to working with you!