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Start Preparing Yourself for Immigration Reform

The American Citizenship ProcessThe Senate Judiciary Committee is debating on the immigration reform bill and the US Congress will soon pass comprehensive immigration reform. If the Senate immigration reform bill is signed into law, undocumented immigrants could enter the legalization process and become legal residents. If you are an undocumented immigrant, you may start preparing yourself for immigration reform and this is the right time to do so. Immigration activists also believe that the country will soon create a path to US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants and permit them to live permanently in the country. If the US Congress passes the immigration reform bill, undocumented residents would be granted authorization to apply for the temporary status that the bill would create. Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status is the new status that the bill would create and the eligible undocumented immigrants could apply for this status. However, no one can apply for this status now as this status does not exist.

It is mandatory to prepare in advance for immigration reform. To apply for this status, undocumented immigrants must file applications, undergo background checks, pay fines and pay the application processing fees. Likewise, as soon as the Senate bill is passed, undocumented immigrants could come out and apply for legal status. You will have to establish that you have been living in the United States continuously and to establish that, you will have to submit few documents such as your school records, utility bills, bank statements, etc. This is similar to what the DREAMers who are eligible for deferred action status are doing now. The other thing that you need to do is to stay in the United States, until the immigration reform bill is passed and you may cancel all you travel plans.

Few other documents such as your birth certificate and marriage certificate also may be required. See to that you have all those documents. If you had entered into America as a non-immigrant, you will have to provide copies of the visa with which you entered into America. This will help you to establish that you had entered into the country before 31st December, 2011. Moreover, you will have to provide documentary evidence and establish that you do not have a criminal history. However, minor crimes may not affect your application for legal status.

Undocumented immigrants applying for RPI status would be required to pay a $500 penalty along with the application processing fee. Hence, you need to start saving some money as your application would not be accepted if you do not pay the required fees and fines. Fines must also be paid while applying for renewal and at the time of applying for Green Cards, after ten years. Hence, to become a legal resident, you would be required to pay $2,000 along with the application filing and processing fees. Once you apply for legal status and become a legal resident, you would be permitted to travel abroad and to re-enter the country. Likewise, your spouse and your children would also benefited and they could also apply for legal status. You can start working in America legally after you become a legal resident. But you need to remember the Registered Provisional Immigrant status is only temporary. You could become a lawful permanent resident only after ten years and only if you maintain clean criminal records.

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