What is Registered Provisional Immigrant Status?
According to the Senate immigration bill, officially called The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, undocumented immigrants would be permitted to adjust their status to the legal status of Registered Provisional Immigrant Status and to adjust status, an undocumented immigrant must have got into the country prior to 31st December, 2011 and must have resided continuously in the country. Such undocumented immigrants who file applications to adjust their status must pay a $500 penalty fee and this does not apply to the DREAM Act eligible students and they need not pay this fee. Undocumented immigrants who are eligible for adjustment of status must also pay the application fee and the application processing fee.
However, undocumented immigrants may not become eligible for Registered Provisional Immigrant Status, if they have been convicted of felonies or aggravated felonies. Likewise, undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of three or more misdemeanors, offenses under foreign law and people who have unlawfully voted, cannot apply for adjustment of status and cannot obtain lawful status. Apart from that, individuals who are inadmissible for national security, public health or criminal grounds, may not be permitted to apply for lawful status.
Eligible dependents of the immigrants who are in Registered Provisional Immigrant status (RPI), can file applications as derivatives but they cannot file applications if they are currently outside the United States. After obtaining RPI status, immigrants would be permitted to work legally for US employers and they can travel abroad and re-enter the United States. People who are currently abroad and who were in the country prior to 31st December, 2011 can apply for RPI status, if they were deported from the United States for non-criminal reasons. But this may be possible only if they are spouses, children or parents of US citizens or Green Card holders. Undocumented immigrants who were deported for non-criminal reasons can apply for RPI status if they are eligible for DREAM Act.
The application period will be for a year from the date of implementation and the application period may be extended by the Secretary. Undocumented immigrants who are in removal proceedings and individuals who hold removal orders also can file applications for RPI status. This RPI status will be valid for six years and it can be renewed and immigrants may be required to pay $500 as penalty fee at the time of applying for renewal. However, individuals in RPI status may not become eligible for federal benefits.
Non US citizens who receive RPI status may remain in the country lawfully but they may not be entitled to the premium assistance tax credit and will be subject to the rules applicable to individuals who are unlawfully present in the country. Individuals who receive RPI status, may adjust their status to lawful permanent resident status after ten years through the same Merit Based System and to do so, they must establish that they have maintained continuous residence in the country, paid all their back taxes, worked regularly in America, are good in English and that they know enough about the country’s laws and history. Likewise, a penalty fee of $1,000 must also be rendered.
Undocumented immigrants in DREAM Act status and in the Agricultural Program, can apply for lawful status in five years and get their Green Cards. Moreover DREAM Act kids will become eligible for US citizenship as soon as they become lawful permanent residents. But the undocumented immigrants would be permitted to adjust their status to RPI status only after the US Department of Homeland Security presents a comprehensive border security plan and a plan for fencing along the southern border.