New House Bill Would Allow Some Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain Legal Status

On September 10, 2021, the House Judiciary Committee released details of a new bill that could provide millions of undocumented immigrants with legal status and provide green card relief for thousands of individuals and families who have been stuck in a backlog for years. 

Before the bill becomes law, the provisions must pass the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives, and the Senate before being signed by the president. Yet, the Senate parliamentarian has yet to determine if Democrats are permitted to include immigration provisions in their $3.5 trillion spending plan. 

Adding immigration provisions through the budget reconciliation process—a procedure that enables spending bills to pass the Senate based on a simple majority—avoids a filibuster. If successful, the legalization plan would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries, farmworkers, and other pandemic-era essential workers to apply for green cards. 


Foreign nationals without legal status can apply for a green card by paying a supplemental fee of $1,500 (and a $250 fee for minors) and passing background and medical checks. This measure applies to Dreamers, TPS beneficiaries, individuals who received Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and essential workers. 

The eligibility requirements for DACA recipients—whether they are currently enrolled in the program or not—include: 

  • Arrived in the United States as children (younger than 18 years of age) and continuously lived in the country ever since 

  • Been continuously present in the U.S. since January 1, 2021 

  • Either earned a consistent income in the U.S. for three years, graduated from or currently enrolled in a university or a postsecondary vocational school, or served in the U.S. military 

The eligibility requirements for TPS beneficiaries include: 

  • Had TPS or qualified for the program on January 1, 2017 

  • Have been in the U.S. for at least three (3) years 

  • Have not been deemed ineligible for TPS 

The eligibility requirements for individuals who received DED include: 

  • Qualified for DED as of January 20, 2021 

  • Have been in the U.S. for at least three (3) years 

  • Have not been deemed ineligible for DED 

The eligibility requirements for essential workers (e.g., healthcare and medical, food and agricultural, energy, water, telecommunications, defense, logistics, etc.) include: 

  • Show proof of consistent income 

  • Have been in the U.S. continuously since January 1, 2021 

According to the legislation, these provisions would not be effective until six (6) months after the bill is passed or on May 1, 2022, whichever is sooner. 

Family- & Employment-Based Green Cards 

Family-based immigrant applicants—sponsored by a U.S. citizen—with a priority date of more than two (2) years old could apply for adjustment of status by paying a supplemental fee of $2,500. 

Employment-based immigrant applicants with a priority date more than two (2) years old could also apply for adjustment of status by paying a $5,000 supplemental fee. For EB-5 applicants (immigrant investors), the fee is $50,000. 

If an applicant’s priority date is not within two (2) years, they can still adjust their status for a $1,500 fee, so long as they are in the United States. 

These adjustment-of-status provisions would not be effective until six (6) months after the bill is passed or on May 1, 2022, whichever is sooner. 

Reach out to Hubbs Law Firm in Miami, FL for high-quality immigration representation. Contact us online or at (305) 570-4802 today. 

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