Hi, I’m Kaushik Ranchod, Managing Immigration Attorney of the Ranchod Law Group in Sacramento, California. This video shows some exciting news on how The Biden Presidency immigration policies will affect you.
What kind of policies can you expect from The Biden Presidency?
With this administration, there has been a significant effort to limit immigration. The Biden Presidency will attempt to reverse the damage done to our country because of these immigration policies. Specifically, we’re going to look at the separation of families which has occurred.
Trump heavily attacked H1-B Visas
H-1B Visas in the United States allow U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations for a limited time. A specialty occupation requires the application of specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of work experience. The initial duration of an H-1B Visa is three years and can be extendable to six years. The devastating immigration policies towards H1-B Visa Applications have created tremendous problems in attracting top talent and skilled workers to the United States: America runs on top talent, especially companies like Google, Apple Microsoft. The H1-B Visas for skilled workers seeking employment-based Green Cards play an essential role in meeting the incredible demand and need, for example, for software engineers in the United States.
If you’re coming to the United States through employment, you will enter the U.S. following the H1-B Visa path. The H1-B Visa has an initial three-year duration. Applicants may extend H1-B Visas for another six years; after this period, you must get sponsorship to file for a Green Card. The PERM labor certification process follows. PERM is for employers seeking permanent green card status for an employee to assure the U.S. Department of Labor that no equally qualified United States worker is ready and available for the foreign worker’s position. At The Ranchod Law Group, we have applications for a Green Card dating back ten years because of the priority dates!
In recent times, this administration has issued an executive order to limit J-1 Visas and student visas by denying their program extension. The Biden Presidency will most likely reverse these policies, especially with the executive orders. Immigration policies by order of the President, which Congress has not approved, can be changed swiftly. That’s what we can expect from The Biden Presidency; President-Elect Biden has indicated a will to do so.
How Long will all this take?
When Trump became President, it wasn’t necessarily immediate before these policies came into effect, and it did take some time for Trump to implement his policies. Reversing Trump’s executive orders will be different because this will be a reversal and not creating immigration policies. Therefore, I believe the procedure to switch things back will be much faster. Immigration policies changed after six months with Trump.
The Biden Presidency will reverse specific immigration policies primarily implemented via executive orders. The new administration will act quickly, and we’re hoping for change to occur immediately, or at least if not directly, as fast as possible.
Specific Immigration Policies we can expect: asylum
Diving into some specific immigration policies, I expect The Biden Presidency to enforce, for example, asylum. In this area, the United States has a history of helping asylum seekers, including help for life-threatened people because of their political views. People have sought political asylum also for being a member of a particular group or race. One of the things done under this republican administration is metering: they limited the number of people who can get asylum.
Green Cards and Immigration Policies
The Biden Presidency will eliminate those Green Card backlogs and speed up the employment-based immigration process significantly. Additionally, if you were going to go through this process through marriage, it still takes a significant amount of time. You have to apply for the marriage-based green card, taking over a year to be processed.
If you have been married for less than two years, you have a conditional green card, and then you still have to apply for citizenship. Even if you came in through a marriage, that whole process could take around five years if you’re doing everything as fast as you can. Keep in mind how processing times depend upon the government as well.
DACA Immigration Policies
Another exciting aspect is the renewed prospect of becoming U.S. citizens for DACA holders. The path to obtain U.S. citizenship is a very long one. It will be fantastic to see this path for citizenship for DACA holders’. DACA allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a two-year renewable period of deferred action from deportation. They become eligible for a U.S. work permit. There has been uncertainty related to DACA immigration policies. Under Trump, they were trying to take DACA away and went all the way to the Supreme Court, which rejected the claim to get rid of DACA. However, DACA will provide a path to citizenship under The Biden Presidency. This change in strategy and immigration policies is going to be a considerable one with a significant impact.
Undocumented immigrants roadmap for citizenship
There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States without Green Cards. Another fantastic immigration policy that Biden wants to implement is a roadmap for citizenship. The Obama administration attempted this for these immigrants through the DAPA executive order, which unfortunately did not pass. With Biden, we could see something similar to DAPA. As an experienced immigration attorney with over a decade of immigration law experience and dealing with Green Cards, I do not believe there will be legislation covering all the undocumented immigrants. It will most likely be something similar to DAPA, but focusing on addressing the needs of a certain number of people seeking paths to U.S. citizenship. We’ll see how events unfold.
Public charge rule
The current Presidency expanded the public charge rule, resulting in one of the most harmful changes to U.S. Immigration policies. For instance, people use the I-864 affidavit of support when applying for a Green Card for a family member, a spouse, or a parent. This application is required to demonstrate that your income is 125% above the poverty guidelines. If you could prove that the beneficiary would not take public benefits, you could prove that you met the median public charge guidelines.
Of course, you’d have to produce documentation to that effect, such as tax returns, double duty’s employment letter. They introduced a new Form I-944 (Declaration of Self-Sufficiency) for adjustment of status applications. This change hurt families because it was a way to make applying extremely difficult. This rule makes it more difficult for the beneficiary to immigrate by creating unnecessary hurdles.
For instance, consider having to provide a credit report. How do you get a credit report if you don’t have a social security number?
Another example is showing that you will get health insurance – how do you demonstrate having it if you can’t afford it?
These are some issues that The Biden Presidency will hopefully resolve immediately. This public charge expansion will also end through the Biden Presidency. Please note that this Declaration of Self-Sufficiency is still in effect at the time of this video.
So what I want to allude to here is that this will reasonably be taken away by the new administration. However, it may take some time. We do not know if this will be immediate; it could take six months, maybe longer.
The Muslim Ban
Once Biden becomes President, there will also be a lift on the Muslim ban. This ban was against many Muslim countries. There are many physicians from Muslim countries, and this ban created family separation. I expect this ban to end with The Biden Presidency based on statements during the election campaign.
So to sum it up, there are two significant changes that I see:
- Our employment-based immigration policies will not face the detrimental harm they have faced, especially with leading researchers. We attract the best and the brightest, and that’s what has made us innovate in technology. We had not seen the full effect of the harm that would have been created by the policies of restrictionism. Now, that is going to be reversed by The Biden Presidency.
- There will be family reunification. Starting on day one, the Biden administration will prevent from being put in cages. The Biden Presidency will reinstate American values of family reunification.