USA Today reported on Tuesday that they have been in receipt of a draft legislation bill on immigration reform from the White House. The newspaper says that President Barack Obama is intending to unveil a “Lawful Prospective Citizen” category of US visas that will include children and spouses (even if currently living overseas) who will also benefit should legal status be granted.
USA Today also says that the White House draft means that people will have to pay fees, submit biometric information and be able to pass a criminal background check in order to qualify for the brand new visa. If they are given approval, they will be able to stay in the United States legally for four years, and allowed to work and even leave the country for some short periods of time. When the four years have elapsed, they will then be able to reapply for an extension.
Undocumented immigrants will be ineligible for the visa if they have committed any crime that resulted in them being sent to prison for at least 12 months or a number of crimes that, in total, led to over 30 days of jail time or if they are responsible for any overseas offences that, if these had taken place in the US, would have seen them removed or be barred from entry.
People who are currently facing deportation hearings or who are in federal custody may also be able to put in an application for the Lawful Prospective Immigrant visa.