As part of the Merit Based Visa program, the new immigration reform bill proposes that, between fiscal years 2015 and 2021, one-seventh of the total number of those with employment-based visas that have been pending on the date of enactment be allocated. Petitions for spouses and children of permanent residents who are accorded status under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) will be automatically converted to petitions to accord status as immediate relatives.
Between fiscal years 2015 and 2021, a specific formula will be followed to allocate visas to those with family-based petitions pending on the date of enactment and subject to some restrictions.
In fiscal year 2022, the Secretary of State shall allocate visas to half the number of those that filed family-based petitions after the date of enactment and had not had a visa issued by October 2021.
In fiscal year 2023, the visas should be allocated to the other half of those that filed family-based petitions after the date of enactment and who had not had a visa issued by October 2021. Visas allocated for these family-based petitions will be issued based on the order in which petitions were filed.
In the next article we will discuss reforms being sought for the H-1B visa program.