The immigration system in the United States is about to be turned upside down. How will it affect YOU? Immigration law is evolving all the time, but even more so with a new president’s election. Immigrant attorneys in the USA have seen many challenges and changes over the last four years, but many changes are coming. While things seem to look good, with change can also come chaos. It can be hard to keep up, but it is imperative to stay on top of the changes and how they may affect you or your family.
The United States has a new president with the election of Joe Biden, and many changes are coming to the United States immigration system. Sweeping reforms have already come in the form of executive orders, Trump policy reversals, and a proposal for monumental immigration reform. According to the White House, Joe Biden hopes to “modernize” the immigration system for a more streamlined and inclusive process. Many changes are coming, and it looks like hope may be on the horizon as many prepare Biden’s “immigration reset.”
With these changes offering hope but also a new road of complexities, it is important to know how to navigate around the law and our changing government policies. You need the advice of an immigration law firm with years of experience. This vital information, which we have to offer, will keep you in the now as the tidal wave of immigration policy change comes storming in. Read below for more vital information to see how these changes will affect and your family members.
Biden’s Early Executive Orders Already Setting the Tone
President Biden began his tenure as president with a slew of executive orders revamping the system and policies governing immigration in the United States. Though limited in their scope and extended authority, the executive orders themselves paint an early picture of what to expect. So far, some of his orders have included initiatives to:
- Create a specialized task force on reuniting parents with children separated under the Trump administration
- Preserve the program for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
- Streamline naturalization and make it more accessible to qualified individuals
- Resume green card processing in previously prohibited countries
- Eliminate policies targeting economically disadvantaged immigrants like the “Public Charge” rule
- Freeze a program and policy known as “remain in Mexico,” requiring non-Mexican immigrants on the Mexican-American border to stay in the country until their asylum hearing date.
Even for an immigration attorney in the USA, it is too early to predict what will happen. If President Biden’s executive actions are any indication of what lies ahead, however, it appears we will be seeing a more pro-immigrant pro-family agenda. It is hard to say what this means for workers, however, as we don’t see much addressing H-1B visa and EB-2 sponsorship woes.
The U.S. Citizenship Act
In addition to his executive orders, one may try to surmise the immigration changes ahead based on the president’s own proposed immigration reforms. Sweeping changes would seem to be the theme, particularly in his proposed U.S. Citizenship Act, now introduced in the house. It is hard to say if this bill would pass, but if so, it would turn the immigration system on its very head. Experts do not believe it will pass, but if it does, the U.S. Citizenship Act would, among other things:
- Provide an 8-year pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants already here
- Increases current per-country caps
- Clears backlogs and reclaims unused visas
- Provides work authorization for the spouses of H-1B visa holders’ spouses and prevents their children from “aging out” of the program
- Addresses “root causes” of migration by providing support to Central American countries
- Provides support and leniency to asylum seekers
The Good News and Bad News for Tech Workers
Many in the tech industry are excited about the changes that Joe Biden has brought to us so far, but even they admit that there is much work to be done. A great many changes have made it and will make it easier to work and stay in the United States. Based on his proposed changes and orders on immigration so far, Joe Biden seems to be focusing mostly on families more so than work or business. EB-2 visas seems to remain an unaddressed issue, and the standards on national interest waivers remain high. However, some good tidings hit the newsstands on immigration, especially for those hoping to settle down and work in the United States.
The Public Charge Rule
First, Joe Biden has ordered a review of the “Public Charge Rule,” which would allow for the denying of visas to those who have used public benefits or would be likely to do so in the future. While the rule may not affect many skilled workers directly, it creates a mound of additional paperwork. Proving that you will not become a future liability is a headache even for an expert immigration attorney in the USA. The extra complications created a great deal of uncertainty for both tech workers and companies both.
STEM Field Graduates and H-1B Visa Holders
STEM field graduates will also benefit tremendously from proposed legislation that will make it much easier to stay in the United States. Unfortunately, this still does not include many vital fields like nursing.
H-1B visa holders will be happy to know that Biden’s policies will grant work authorization to all eligible spouses, an immigration policy previously under attack by the Trump administration. Biden’s immigration reforms will also provide relief to backlogs that will allow for more employment and family-based green cards. That means more tech workers may soon have more freedom and potential for job mobility.
Unfortunately, experts do not believe all of Trump’s old policies will be out the door. H-1B visa holders will have more challenges, particularly in terms of seniority, level of skill, and level of pay. The old lottery system that determined H-1B visa approvals was earlier replaced by a system that favored recipients earning a higher wage. New rules will also set a “minimum wage” that companies must pay to their immigrant workers. While these two policies are under a soon-expiring freeze, it does not like they will be going away anytime soon.
Good News for Families and EB-2 Sponsorship Programs
Overall, Biden’s policy appears to more immigrant and family-friendly, and at least to some extent, they may become somewhat more worker-friendly as well. We do not seem to see many changes on the horizon for things like obtaining EB-2 sponsorship or national interest waivers, and most immigration visas remain extremely difficult to obtain. You need the help of a qualified immigration law firm to navigate through all the red tape. Even so, some immigrants may be breathing a sigh of relief.
Green card approval, for instance, can take years, and countless people wait even longer to reunite with their families by clearing backlogs and creating a friendlier environment for employment and family-based green card approvals. Waiting times will also likely be decreased as backlogs are cleared, and unused visas are reclaimed. With caps increased, the doors are opening to more as well.
Under the new system, visa approvals should be quicker and easier, but it will still be a long and complex process as immigration policies continue to evolve. Keeping up will get harder as these policies continue to evolve. Still, with the help of a professional immigration law firm, you can navigate these changes to reap the many coming benefits.
Immigration is Changing: You Need a Qualified Immigration Law Firm
Early on in the new administration we have already seen expansive changes and reforms. It is hard to tell if all of them will come to be. Experts say that the entirety of the U.S. Citizenship Act will likely not be passed as a whole, but parts and provisions of the legislation will survive. However, things pan out on Capitol Hill. We will be ready. As the political landscape becomes more tumultuous, we can know that one thing is sure with immigration: change is always going to be inevitable. From one administration to the next, the changes are sure to come, but we will be ready.
How Will these Changes Affect you in the Filing and Approval Process?
How can anyone keep up with these constant changes of rules and regulations? If you want to keep up with these changes and know how to utilize them to benefit you and your family, you need a professional immigration attorney in the USA. We keep up with the constant changes in immigration law and policies.
Do not get lost in the complexities of the American immigration system. Here at CFUIS, we are trained professionals. Rest assured, we are here to help. If you have questions on immigration and how these changes may affect you or your loved ones, give us a call at 800-403-8117.
Our immigration law firm offices are open and available by appointment. We would like to get in touch and discuss how we can help you make your immigration process a smooth and stress-free success.