Going from an immigrant to a citizen isn’t easy. There’s an extensive background check, and applicants must pass a test. Immigrants often face difficult hurdles, like policies that target undocumented immigrants. Countless people contributing to the American economy live in fear of deportation. Their fears may stop them from trying to change their status and become legal residents or even citizens.
Some people take decades to complete the naturalization process, and others avoid it because they see it as too much of a risk. However, that could soon change. An anonymous source told the Associated Press that Joe Biden will suggest new immigration legislation on his first day in office.
The proposed immigration changes would include systems to help undocumented immigrants. Specifically, it could offer a pathway to citizenship in as little as eight years. What might that new immigration process look like?
Undocumented workers could receive temporary legal status
Once someone comes into the United States without documentation or stays after their visa expires, their situation is risky. Many people avoid correcting the issue because they fear enforcement efforts or deportation.
Documentation status will not stop people from qualifying under this potential new plan. Instead, currently undocumented immigrants could start working toward their green card. Completing this process will require that people pay taxes and meet certain special criteria. After the five-year path to a green card, they could then also complete a three-year process that ends in citizenship.
What other immigration policies could soon change?
The same massive proposed bill will include policy changes for children brought to the country by undocumented parents, also known as Dreamers. Both Dreamers and those temporarily in the United States, including agricultural workers, might have a faster and easier process toward receiving their own green cards if these changes go through.
The official unveiling has yet to take place, and there could be changes between the proposed reforms and what Congress eventually approves. However, the near future will likely see critical shifts in federal immigration policy.
Having help as you navigate naturalization can make it easier. From paperwork to changing rules, a lawyer can handle the details on your behalf and assist you in pursuing a better life.