Immigration Bill Envisions Path to Citizenship

Apr 23, 2013

By Helly Lee

Last week, the bipartisan Senate "Gang of 8" introduced S. 744 the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. If enacted, this bill would be the largest scale change to immigration laws in over 25 years.

One of the major hallmarks of the bill is that it provides a path to citizenship for aspiring citizens, many of whom have lived and worked in this country for many years. Other key elements of the bill include border security measures, reforms to family- and employment-based immigration policies, and interior enforcement measures including the requirement, phased in over 5 years, for all employers to use  an Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) to ensure that all newly hired employees are legally eligible to work in the U.S.

Eligible aspiring citizens may apply for a newly created Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status, renewable after 6 years and then be eligible for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status after an additional 4 years (a minimum of 10 years in RPI status). Aspiring citizens following this path will be eligible to apply for citizenship after 3 years in LPR status.

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