President Donald Trump unveiled a new immigration plan called ‘Build America Visa’. Under the new plan, the number of people who can receive visas through family ties or by seeking asylum would be limited. Instead, preference would be given to a merit-based system that is based on age, valuable skills, an offer of employment, education, and wealth. The White House estimates 12% of people who obtain Green Cards and Citizenship do so based on employment and skills, while 66% enter via family-based connections and 22% through humanitarian visas and the Diversity Lottery. Under the new proposal, employment and skills category would increase to 55%, 33% would be allocated to family-based category and 10% for everything else.
The plan also includes a new civics-test requirement for immigrants entering the country. Typically, this test is required only for foreign nationals applying for U.S. Citizenship. However, under the new immigration plan all immigrants will have to demonstrate knowledge of English language and take a test about American history prior to their admission to the U.S. “To promote integration, assimilation and national unity, future immigrants will be required to learn English and to pass a civics exam prior to admission,” the President said.
The proposed plan recognizes three categories: extraordinary talent, professional and specialized vocations, and exceptional students. Potential recipients will be judged on a point-based system. “You will get more points for being a younger worker, meaning you will contribute more to our social safety net. You will get more points for having a valuable skill and offer of employment and advanced education or a plan to create jobs,” Trump said.
The biggest concern is that, should the plan take effect, those immigrants, who already have pending Green Card petitions, would lose their place in a waiting line and would have to apply under a new point-based system. Even though some immigrants in an employment-based Green Card category might get more points and obtain a Green Card faster, there is no certainty whether any particular applicant whose pending immigrant visa petition is eliminated would secure a Green Card under the new system.
PLEASE NOTE, THAT THE PLAN IS A PROPOSAL AND IS NOT IN EFFECT YET. If you have any questions regarding your Green Card application or are planning to apply for a Green Card, it is strongly recommended to consult with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer. At Root Law Group, we offer a free in-office consultation with our experienced immigration attorneys. Call (323) 456-7600 today to make an appointment.