What Is the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021?

Immigration law has been at the center of many heated political battles, especially over the past few years. You may be wondering what to expect under the Biden Administration. While there is no way of knowing for certain what lies ahead, the recent proposal of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 certainly sets the tone for what is coming in immigration law and policy for the U.S. over the next several years.

What is the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021?

On his first official day as President, the White House issued a press release regarding the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a new bill being introduced to Congress. The press release detailed the level of President Biden’s commitment to overhauling the U.S. immigration system to make it more modern. When you look at the text of the bill, you can see that it proposes several key changes to the current state of U.S. immigration law.

Among the key provisions of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, you will see that family reunification lies at the heart of the bill. The bill proposes seeking out and working to address what has caused and continues to cause the mass migration from Central America to the U.S. Furthermore, the bill sets forth reforms intended to both modernize the U.S. immigration system and reduce the waiting periods that are faced in the family-based visa quota system currently in place. The bill has lofty goals that include clearing backlogs in the immigration system, making use of unused visa numbers, and reducing otherwise lengthy wait times for certain visas as well as increasing per-country visa caps that are currently in place.

The bill also outlines a pathway to citizenship for about 11 million undocumented individuals who were physically present in the U.S on or prior to January 1, 2021. More specifically, the provisions of the bill would grant qualifying undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary legal status, such as deferred action, and give them the option, should they pass a criminal and national security background check, and pay their taxes, of applying for a green card after five years have passed.

On top of all of this, the proposed legislation would make Dreamers, TPS holders, and certain qualifying immigrant farmworkers eligible to receive green cards right away. Dreamers are considered to be those individuals impacted by DACA and the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Immigrant Minors Act (the DREAM Act) was a legislative proposal that would have granted conditional residency, with the right to work, to undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors. If they satisfied more requirements, they would be eligible for permanent residency. TPS refers to those under temporary protected status, which are individuals who do not have a lawful immigration status. Under the provisions of the bill, those who receive green cards would then, after three years, be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship should they pass additional background checks as well as be able to demonstrate knowledge of the English language.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x104). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.