US to adopt Points-based Migration

Recognizing the need to aggressively compete with its Northern Neighbor across the border (Canada) as well as siphon off applicants from Australia and New Zealand, the United States Congress is moving towards adopting a points-based migration called Merit System.

Incorporated under what would be the best chance to pass a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act,  the US Senate – initiated by New York Senator Charles Schumer – introduced S. 744 which not only points towards a points-based migration, but also would

  1. Eliminate the per country quota for Employment-based Immigration;
  2. Recapture unused immigrant visas from 1992 to 2013 to be reallocated for Employment-based migration;
  3. Reclassify “immediate relatives” to include the spouse, minor child and parent of a lawful permanent resident as well as a child born to a green card holder while abroad;
  4. Increase the number of visas to over-21 sons and daughters of green card holders to 20% of the worldwide level of family-sponsored categories;
  5. Increase the number of visas to siblings (brothers and sisters of US citizens) from 65,000 to 40% of the worldwide level of family-sponsored categories.
  6. Increasing the per-country visa allocation from 7% to 15% or more than double the current visa numbers (7% is 25,620 thereby increasing the per country visa allocation to the Philippines to more than 51,240).

The net effect?

Faster visa processing, reduction of backlog and immediate family reunification not just for relatives of US citizens but also relatives of lawful permanent residents.

Faster migration of individuals in certain occupations based on their education, employment experience, employment related to occupation, entrepreneurship, bonus points for being an occupation in high demand; English proficiency; family relationship (sibling or married sons and daughters of US Citizens).

Proposed Points Allocation

Education: 15 points for PhD; 10 for Masters; 5 for Bachelors.

Employment Experience: 3 pts for each year in a Zone 5 occupation;2 pts for each year in Zone 4 occupations.

Employment related to occupation – 10 pts for Zone 5 and 8 pts for Zone 4

Entrepreneurship – 10 pts for business that employs at least 2 persons in Zone 4 or Zone 5 occupations;

High Demand Occupation – 10 pts if employed or has job offer in Tier 1 occupation;

Civic Involvement – 2 pts for significant community service

English language – 10 pts for score of 80 or more in TOEFL or equivalent test, IELTS.

Family-relationship – 10 pts maximum if sibling or married son daughter of US citizens. Age bracket: between 18-24- 8 pts; 25 to 32-6 pts; 33 to 37 – 4 pts.

Watch out for Tier 2 points allocation or Primary Caregiver.

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About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


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