Part Six: Reclassification of Certain Relatives as “Immediate” Relatives

Immediate Relatives

· Reclassifies spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents as immediate relatives. Extends to them the protections for immediate relatives in case of death of or abuse by a U.S. citizen or an LPR spouse or parent.

· Allows derivatives (spouse or child) for immediate relatives.

· Includes “child” to protections given to spouses in case of death of or abuse by USC spouse or parent.

· Continues to include the requirement that the immediate relative petition be filed within two years of the death of the qualifying relative; however, Section 2312 expressly removed the two-year requirement.

Visa Allocation

· Allocates worldwide level for family-sponsored immigrant visas.

o Unmarried sons and daughters of USCs: 20 percent of worldwide level

o Unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs: 20 percent of worldwide level + unused visas for unmarried sons and daughters of USCs

o Married sons and daughters of USCs: 20 percent of worldwide level + unused visas for unmarried sons and daughter of LPRs

o Siblings of USCs: 40 percent of worldwide level + unused visas for married sons and daughters of USCs

Termination/Reinstatement of Registration

· Includes circumstances when an individual’s registration for an immigrant visa shall be terminated:

o Failure to apply for adjustment of status within one year following notification of visa availability

o Failure to apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification of visa availability

ALLOCATION OF IMMIGRATION VISAS.

· Allocates visas for unmarried sons or daughters of U.S. citizens to not exceed 35% of worldwide level (change from 23,400)

· Allocates visas for married sons or daughters of USCs under 31 years of age at the time of filing to not exceed 25% of the worldwide level. (CHANGES from all married sons or daughters, to only those under 31 years of age at time of filing, and changes number from 23,400)

· Allocates visas for unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs not to exceed 40% of the worldwide level (change from 114,200)

· Removes limit on spouses and children of LPRs. (Now considered immediate relatives.)

· Eliminates the visa category for brothers and sisters of USCs.

· Visa petitions which automatically convert:

o Unmarried son or daughter of a USC to a married son or daughter category upon marriage, irrespective of age of the alien.

o Married son or daughter of a USC to an unmarried son or daughter of a USC upon dissolution of a marriage or death of the alien’s spouse.

· Above-listed family-based visa provisions are effective as of the first day of the first fiscal year that begins at least 18 months after the enactment of this Act.

· Exempts certain aliens (derivative beneficiaries of employment-based immigrants; aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, outstanding professors and researchers; multinational executives and managers; doctorate degree holders; and physicians who have completed the foreign residency requirements or obtained a waiver of those requirements or an exemption was requested by an interested state or federal agency) from being subject to the worldwide levels or numerical limitations.

· Expands treatment of family members to also include derivative beneficiaries of aliens described above.

· Renames §203(b)(2) from “Aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability” to “Aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or advanced degrees in a STEM field.”

· Allocates visas for professionals holding advanced degrees to not exceed 40% of the worldwide level. (Increased from 28.6%.)

· Eliminates the requirement for those who received an advanced degree in a STEM field from being subject to the worldwide levels or numerical limitations if the immigrant earned a graduate degree at the level of master’s or higher in the STEM field from a U.S. institution of higher education, has an offer of employment from a U.S. employer in a related field, and earned the qualifying degree within five years immediately prior to filing the petition.

· Removes the requirement of being “sought by an employer in the U.S.” if the Secretary of Homeland Security deems it to be in the national interest.

· Allows the Secretary to grant a national interest waiver if physician will work in shortage area or area with veterans’ facilities, and a federal agency or a local, county, regional, or state department of public health determines that work will be in the public interest.

· Permanent resident status cannot be issued until the alien has worked for five years in the area described above, not including the time spent in J status.

o Time accrues when work commences, not when petition is filed or approved.

o Explains mechanics for how the five-year period is to be counted.

o Unnecessary to file an additional immigrant visa petition due to change of work location.

· Allows physician working in a shortage area or area with veterans’ facilities to file the petition with the Secretary of Homeland Security prior to the completion of the five-year employment requirement.

· Removes the requirement for a labor certification for STEM workers.

· Allocates visas for skilled workers, professionals and other workers to not exceed 40% of the worldwide level. (Increased from 28.6%.)

· Adds that medical doctors must possess a license to practice medicine in the U.S.

· Removes the limitation on “other workers.”

· Allocates visas for certain special immigrants to not exceed 10% of the worldwide level.

· Allocates that visas for employment creation (EB-5) are not exceed 10% of the worldwide level.

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