UPDATED: President Trump Showcases New Merit-Based Immigration Reform Plan

Posted on May 17, 2019
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Visa application showing a welcome sign reflecting how the new immigration reform is beneficial for work visa holders.

UPDATE: President Trump is gearing up to present a new immigration legislative to the US Congress that awards “Build America” visas purely on merit. The main highlights are –

  • Eliminate all queues for employement and family based backlogs, irrespective of wait-time.
  • Instead award points based on merits defined by the new immigration plan.
  • Anyone from the employment-based category, currently in line for a long time may secure additional points.
  • Additional points may up their chances of getting a green card sooner.
  • This new system nearly eliminates the family-based category to secure green cards
  • Some of the merits sought by the Office is having Master’s degree, preferably from the US, have a specialty occupation in the STEM fields and be able to speak English
  • Eliminate per-country cap.
  • The new plan doesn’t talk about addressing the 65,000 cap or consider increasing the numbers to meet demand.
  • Employment-based applicants who are outside of the US will have their petitions eliminated.
  • There is no consideration for an already approved I-140 and all pending green card petitions will have to accrue points to continue application process.
  • Parents of US citizens will not be admitted as “immediate relative”.
  • All immigrants to now apply again under the new point system.
  • As grim as it looks for everyone who has waited in line for years until now, this proposal is yet to go to Congress and passed. And therein lies the hope that it was not all in vain. Stay tuned for more updates!

    Kushner’s Immigration Reform Plan Supports H1-B Visa Holders

    US President Trump’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner is on the verge of submitting his proposal on immigration reform. Along with the many new changes already proposed and implemented this one is yet another one that is going to be in line with Trump’s “Hire American” stand. However, it comes with a silver lining for legal immigrants especially foreign workers on H1-B visas. They will be favored and can continue coming in on the H1-B visa program.

    The proposed immigration reform plan is intended to be neutral in nature on most levels but aims to reduce the inflow of family-based immigrants. Without affecting the overall inflow of legal immigration, it will instead focus on merit based permits to enter the US. With almost 185 different kinds of visas, and over 1.5 million work visa holders having highly skilled, specialty occupations, this proposal may be a good thing for H1-B visa holders.

    Some of its features are –

    • According to the plan, visas will be issued based on merits of age, education, language and level of specialty occupation. Low-skilled immigrants will stand a lower chance.
    • If you are wanting to enter the US legally, you should be able to support yourself financially. All H1-B and other work-visa holders are able to do so for themselves and their dependents.
    • Immigrants coming from a high-skilled background, holding at least a bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree from a US university will have a higher chance of getting a visa since they display better chances of assimilating into the American cultural fabric.
    • Supporting documents outlining once educational qualifications provides a boost to the visa petition. Here is access to sample documents to support your H1-B petition.

    • Having English proficiency is going to be an important consideration since it will help with having a uniform mode of communication, both professionally and from a cultural stand point.
    • This immigration reform also caters to the professional requirements of the tech industry which is dependent upon a highly-educated workforce. With more than 83% of H1-B visas going to the tech sector, and a corresponding number of software companies petitioning for these work visas, the new plan will certainly benefit H1-B visa seekers.
    • Work experience will be an important consideration according to the immigration plan. Since this is directly reflective of the contributions the legal immigrant can make to the US economy, he will be considered first in line. Lately, many RFEs were being issued in this respect.
    • One downside to this plan is that family-based immigration will take a beating since this will be reduced to the very minimum. The immediate dependents of H1-B and other work-related visas remain unaffected.

    It is going to be a wait-and-watch game as the plan is presented to the Congress for approval in a few days. But the good news remains in favor of H1-B work visa holder either ways. Stay tuned for the next updates!

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