The 844 page immigration reform bill introduced by the senators would create a pathway to US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants and this bill would be signed into law by President Obama, if the bill passes both the Senate and the House. To obtain US citizenship, undocumented immigrants must first apply for adjustment of status and become legal residents and apply for permanent resident status after ten years. After they become permanent residents, they would be permitted to apply for US citizenship after three years. This process involves three steps and first the undocumented immigrants must apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant status.
Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) Status
To adjust status to Registered Provisional Immigrant Status, an immigrant must have entered into America prior to 31st December, 2011 and must establish that he was present in the country on that date. He must have entered into the country illegally or must have overstayed his visa. Immigrants must pass background checks and prove that they have not been convicted of crimes. Moreover, they must pay all their back taxes, pay a $500 penalty, form filing fee and the application processing fee.
Eligible applicants would be granted RPI status that would permit them to reside legally in America for 6 years and this status could be renewed. These individuals would be granted permission to work in America and to travel internationally and the benefits would also be extended to their spouses and children. At the time of applying for renewal, people in America in RPI status, must undergo background checks and must establish that they are employed. They would be required to pay another $500 as penalty, form filing and the application processing fees.
RPI Status to Permanent Resident Status
People in RPI status would be permitted to apply for permanent resident status after ten years and people who seek to adjust their status to permanent resident status must meet the income requirements. However, this would happen only after the Department of Homeland Security meets the border security triggers. While applying for Green Cards, people in RPI status, would be required to pay a $1,000 penalty.
Permanent Resident Status to US Citizenship
US citizenship may not be granted immediately and they would be required to wait for three years after obtaining permanent resident status to apply for US citizenship. However, all the US citizenship requirements must be satisfied by the applicants and eligible applicants would be granted US citizenship.
Pathway to US citizenship for DREAMers
All the DREAMers would be permitted to apply for RPI status and there would be no maximum age limit. Deported DREAMers also would be permitted to apply for RPI status and return to the United States. Likewise, DREAMers would become eligible for permanent resident status within five years and they would not be required to pay fines and this also applies to the individuals who have received deferred action status and who are ineligible for deferred action. However, they must prove that they had entered into the country before they turned 16, that they are not criminals and that they are high school graduates. Apart from that, the DREAM Act kids would be permitted to apply for US citizenship immediately after they become Green Card holders.
Benefits for Agricultural Workers
Agricultural workers who have worked in US agricultural industries for at least 100 days, would be granted Agricultural Cards and permitted to apply for permanent resident status. Eligible immigrants who pay their back taxes and pay a $400 fine would be allowed to apply for legal permanent resident status and their spouses and children would receive derivative status.