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Understanding the latest immigration policy proposal

Proposed immigration laws unveiled last week aim to scale back the system that has allowed immigrants to bring their spouses and families to the United States for decades. Instead, the new plan would favor immigrants bringing certain educational backgrounds or skillsets to the American workforce.

Below we outline the main components of the new potential system, and what it means for those looking to enter the U.S.

What requirements would someone need to meet?

The proposed policy uses a points system that considers someone’s age, education, and English-speaking ability. This is often called “merit-based” immigration.

Younger applicants, those who already have a job offer or those who have an advanced education get more points than less skilled workers who might not be in the workforce for long.

Will fewer people be able to obtain green cards under this plan?

No, the number of green cards offered each year would stay the same under the Trump administration’s new proposal. Instead, it would increase the proportion of merit-based visas compared to family-based visas. But, this would mean fewer people would be able to enter the country through family ties.

Looking ahead

Some point out that this proposal is better than other calls for shutting down the borders or reducing the number of immigrants allowed into the U.S. Others fear it will close immigration to all but wealthy individuals. It is important to remember that at this point the merits-focused plan is only a proposal.

To learn more about current immigration policies and how changes could affect your case, it helps to consult an experienced immigration attorney.

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