It is well known that the immigration reform bill of the senators would open pathways toward US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants already settled in the United States. But we need to understand that not all the undocumented immigrants would be allowed to apply for US citizenship and there are few requirements that must be met by undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status. If the immigration reform bill is passed and if the Department of Homeland Security meets the border security triggers, eligible undocumented immigrants would be allowed to file applications for a new status called “Registered Provisional Immigrant” status. This temporary renewable status would be valid for six years.
Undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before December 31st, 2011 and who were present in the country on that date, could apply for RPI status. But before applying for that temporary status, undocumented immigrants must come out and undergo background checks and establish that they are not criminals. Only after undergoing background checks, eligible undocumented immigrants would be permitted to apply for this temporary status. After six years, they could apply for renewal and remain in the country of six more years. However, they would become eligible for permanent resident status after living in the country for ten years as temporary residents and they would be permitted to apply for Green Cards.
But this may not apply to the DREAMers and the undocumented youth would not be required to wait for ten years to become permanent residents. The wait time for the DREAM Act-eligible students would be five years and the Senate bill would grant the DREAMers faster path to US citizenship. Children who had entered into America illegally and who were educated in the United States would be put on fast track to US citizenship. Unlike the other undocumented immigrants, DREAMers would soon become eligible for permanent resident status and they would also be permitted apply for US citizenship as soon as they get their Green Cards. However, to qualify they would be required to establish that they have served in the US armed forces for at least two years or that they have completed two years of college, in America. Agricultural workers also would get a faster path to permanent residency but they may not be permitted to apply for US citizenship as soon as they become permanent residents.