What Is the US Citizenship Act of 2021?
As soon as he took office, President Biden got straight to work. One of his main priorities is immigration reform and as such, Biden unveiled a sweeping immigration proposal that could help about 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US obtain citizenship in as little as 8 years.
Essentially, this bill would provide an 8-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US on or before January 1, 2021. The purpose of this particular requirement is to deter immigrants from rushing to the border only to access this 8-year path to citizenship (if the bill were to pass).
Under the bill, called the US Citizenship Act of 2021, eligible undocumented immigrants would be placed on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 5 years. During this time, individuals must meet certain requirements such as paying taxes and passing background checks before obtaining a Green Card. Once they get a Green Card, qualifying immigrants may apply for US citizenship 3 years later. As a result, undocumented individuals may get citizenship in 8 years should the bill pass into law.
However, some people may qualify to get Green Cards immediately rather than 5 years after being placed on TPS. Under the proposal, certain TPS holders, “dreamers,” and immigrant agriculture workers could get Green Cards right away, expediting their path to citizenship in the United States.
Although it seems like it, the US Citizenship Act of 2021 is NOT just focused on a fast-track to citizenship. President Biden addressed a wide range of immigration matters in his proposal, including:
- Eliminating the 3 and 10-year bars, which ban undocumented immigrants who leave the US from returning to the US for 3 to 10 years
- Raising the per-country caps on family and employment-based legal immigration
- Using smart border controls by implementing technology and infrastructure to current border patrol operations
- Enhancing abilities to prosecute suspected drug smugglers and traffickers who exploit migrants
- Repealing the “Muslim ban,” which bans people from Muslim-majority nations from coming to the US
- Changing “alien” to “non-citizen” in law
- A NO BAN Act prohibiting discrimination based on religion
- Transitioning US refugee and asylum systems “back to a more humane and orderly process”
- Funding training and education for border patrol agents to enhance their safety and professionalism
- Increasing the number of employment and family-based visas available to immigrants
- Improving immigration courts to protect vulnerable individuals
- Expanding investigations, intelligence collection, and analysis to tighten sanctions against foreign criminals and foreign criminal organizations
Our Immigration Attorneys Are Prepared for It All
Although the President’s proposal is still under review and could likely undergo revisions in the future, we are prepared to help eligible individuals access and complete this 8-year path to citizenship if the bill passes into law. Our team is staying up-to-date on the situation and keeping track of existing and expected changes to current immigration laws in the US.
If you want to know how this proposal could affect you, give us a call at (805) 467-6060. We proudly help clients in Santa Barbara obtain immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, citizenship, and protection from deportation.