The Senate immigration reform bill would eliminate the backlog for family-based immigrants and repeal the availability of immigrant visas for the brothers/sisters of US citizens. At present, US citizens can sponsor their relatives under four family preference categories and 480,000 immigrant visas are allocated per year to such immigrants and the US citizens can sponsor their parents, spouses, children and their siblings. But the Senate immigration reform bill may not permit the US citizens to sponsor their siblings. They would be permitted to sponsor their relatives only under two preference categories and the US citizens would be permitted to sponsor their unmarried and married children below age 31 and the Green Card holders would be permitted to sponsor their unmarried children, under the family preference categories.
The bill would expand the V visa category and permit few eligible categories of relatives to visit the United States temporarily for around 3 months per year. Likewise, the relatives of US citizens and Green Card holders for whom the US citizens and Green Card holders have filed immigrant petitions would be allowed to enter into America and live there. Siblings of US citizens may not be permitted to immigrate to the United States through family-based immigration and 18 months after the enactment of the Senate immigration bill, immigrant visas for the siblings of US citizens may not be made available.
Immediate relatives of permanent residents, spouses and children of Green Card holders, would be permitted to get into the country while their immigrant petitions are pending. Nevertheless, US citizens would be able to sponsor only their married or unmarried children below age 31. The V visa category would permit the immediate relatives to work in America while they wait for permanent resident status. But the F-4 category will be eliminated and the children of US citizens above age 31 cannot immigrate to America through family sponsorship. Moreover, the Senate immigration reform bill does not include provisions for LGBT couples.