President Obama Announces Plan to Overhaul Immigration System

Last night, President Obama delivered a long-awaited speech on steps his administration will take, via executive order, to overhaul our nation’s broken immigration system. While details are still forthcoming, major policy changes will include some versions of the following:

• Implementation of Deferred Action program for undocumented parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents;

• Expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to include individuals who arrived in the U.S. as children, regardless of their current age;

• Clarification of regulations that will facilitate mobility for high-skilled workers caught in the visa backlog;

• Mechanism for spouses of certain H-1B skilled workers to apply for work authorization;

• Implementation of parole program for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria (TBD) related to job creation, investment, and generation of revenue;

• Expansion of the “National Interest Waiver” green card category to explicitly include entrepreneurs, inventors, and founders of companies;

• Expansion of the I-601A “Provisional Waiver” program to include spouses of Lawful Permanent Residents.

Please keep in mind that this is only a sampling of changes announced by the White House this week. For a more comprehensive discussion, please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s resources page, available here: http://www.dhs.gov/immigration-action.

We will continue to post updates to our blog as we receive further clarification and guidance about these new and exciting initiatives, so please check back regularly!

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