Immigration Overhaul via The RAISE Act: How Will the U.S. Immigration System Change; What is Inside?

 

Immigration Overhaul via The RAISE Act:

How Will the U.S. Immigration System Change; What is Inside?

Below, explore an overview of the proposed RAISE Act:

Overhaul to Employment-Based Immigration

  • The Diversity Visa Program will be eliminated as an immigration possibility.
  • All Employment-Based preference categories (EB-1 – EB-5) will be eliminated, and they will be replaced with an immigration points system.
  • Under the immigration points-based system, the worldwide level of points-based immigrant visas issued during any fiscal year may not exceed 140,000. This number includes visas issued to spouses and children who accompany, or follow to join, the visa applicant to the United States.
  • The Application Process Under the Points-Based System:
  1. An online application will be submitted to USCIS by each points-based applicant. The purpose of this application is attestation to the amount of points for which an applicant is eligible. The initial filing fee* for this application is $160.00.
  2. Each application with at least 30 points will be placed in an eligible applicant pool, which will be sorted by total points.
  3. When two or more applications have the same total points, the applications will be subject to tie-breaker rules. The tie-breaker rules are set-up in a hierarchy which takes into account, in descending order, educational attainment, English proficiency, and age.
  4. Applications shall remain in the eligible applicant pool for 12 months. An applicant who is not invited to apply for a point-based immigrant visa during the 12-month period in which the application remains in the eligible applicant pool may reapply for placement in the eligible applicant pool.
  5. Every 6 months, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shall invite the highest ranked applicants in the eligible applicant pool, in a number that is expected to yield 50% of the 140,000 visas allowed per year, to file a petition for a points-based immigrant visa.
  6. Once invited, applicants have 90 days to file a visa petition with USCIS. The petition will include documentation which demonstrates eligibility for the applicant’s alleged points, an employer letter which attests to salary, job vacancy, no displacement of current U.S. worker, proof of health insurance, and an initial filing fee* of $345.
  • Applicants who are issued points-based visas are not eligible for any Federal means-tested public benefit during the five-year period beginning on the date on which such visa was issued.
  • Points System (All applicants must have 30+ points, and either a degree higher than a bachelor’s degree or a qualifying job offer):
  1. Age
  • 0-17 years of age
    • Cannot apply for a points-based visa
    • 18-21 years of age
      • 6 points
      • 22-25 years of age
        • 8 points
      • 26-30 years of age
        • 10 points
      • 31-35 years of age
        • 8 points
      • 36-40 years of age
        • 6 points
      • 41-45 years of age
        • 4 points
      • 46-50 years of age
        • 2 points
      • 51+
        • 0 points, but eligible for visa
  1. Education (Applicant only receives points highest degree obtained)
  • U.S. of Foreign High School Degree
    • 1 point
    • Foreign Bachelor’s Degree
      • 5 points
      • U.S. Bachelor’s Degree
        • 6 points
      • Foreign Master’s Degree in STEM
        • 7 points
      • U.S. Master’s Degree in STEM
        • 8 points
      • Foreign Professional or Doctorate Degree in STEM
        • 10 points
      • U.S. Professional or Doctorate Degree in STEM
        • 13 points
  1. English Language Proficiency
  • 1st-5thDecile
    • 0 points
    • 6th & 7thDecile
      • 6 points
      • 8thDecile
        • 10 points
      • 9thDecile
        • 11 points
      • 10thDecile
        • 12 points
  1. Extraordinary Achievement
  • Nobel Laureate or has comparable recognition in a field of scientific or social scientific study
    • 25 points
    • Individual Olympic Medal or placed first in an international sporting event, in which the majority of the best athletes in a Olympic sport were represented, in the eight years immediately preceding the submission of the online application.
      • 15 points
  1. Job Offer (If applicant does not have a degree higher than a bachelor’s degree, then they must have a job offer applicable to one of the following conditions)
  • Annual Salary between 150% – 200% of the median household income in the state in which the applicant will be employed
    • 5 points
    • Annual Salary between 200% – 300% of the median household income in the state in which the applicant will be employed
      • 8 points
      • Annual Salary 300%+ of the median household income in the state in which the applicant will be employed
        • 13 points
  1. Investment in and Management of a New Commercial Enterprise in the United States
  • Maintain an investment of $1,350,000 USD for at least 3 years and play and active role in management
    • 6 points
    • Maintain an investment of $1,800,000 USD for at least 3 years and play and active role in management
      • 12 points
      • If the applicant has a spouse who will be accompanying or following to join the applicant in the United States, then the applicant will identify the points that the spouse would accrue if she or he had applied for the points-based visa. The spouse’s point totals may result in a reduced point total; this process operates as follows:
  1. For each category, determine whether the applicant or the spouse has a higher point total.
  2. If the spouse has the same or more points, in any given category, then the points will not be adjusted in that category.
  3. If the spouse has less points, in any given category, then the applicant’s point total for that category will be reduced as follows:
  • (Applicant’s Points in the Category x 70%) + (Spouse’s Points in the Category x 30%)

*  The Director shall adjust the amount of the fees every 2 years as appropriate, to reflect inflation.

Overhaul to Family-Based Immigration

  • All Family-Based preference categories (F-1 – F-4) will be eliminated, and there will exist the two following options:
  1. Immediate Relatives, spouse and children of USC’s only, as defined below:
  • For the purpose of defining immediate relative, the age of a child will be changed from “under twenty-one years of age” to “younger than eighteen years of age”.
  • For the purpose of defining immediate relative, parents of United States’ Citizens will no longer be considered immediate relatives.
  1. Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)
  • Immediate relatives will remain not subject to direct numerical limitations
  • Max 88,000 visas will be issued to Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents every fiscal year. 75% of those visas will be issued without regard to country. If a single country is issued 77+% of the 75%, then that country will be precluded from the receiving 25% of the remaining visas to be issued.
  • A new nonimmigrant family-based visa will be created. The category will apply to parents of U.S. Citizens, at least 21 years old. Parents who qualify can remain in the U.S. for 5 years, and receive a 5-year extension if the USC remains in the United States. Parents will not be allowed to work nor receive public benefits while present in the United States. The USC must pay for the parent’s health insurance while present in the United States at no cost to the alien.

Reduced Refugee Entries

  • The number of refugees who may be admitted in any fiscal year may not exceed 50,000.

Added Naturalization Requirement

  • No person may be naturalized if the individual who executed an affidavit of support with respect to the person who has failed to reimburse the Federal Government for all means-tested public benefits received by the person during the 5-year period beginning on the date on which the alien was lawfully admitted for permanent residence