As we have been updating our readers with the Immigration reform debate, negotiations between the White House and key senators in both parties will resume on June 4th, as the reformation of America’s immigration process looks evermore likely to shift to a point system similar to that of Canada, Australia, New Zeland and England.
Traditionally, a point system is geared to attracting people who have attributes valued by the receiving country, and that are judged to make the immigrants more likely to succeed economically as well as other factors. These include education, occupation, work experience, language proficiency and age.
In brief, a point system that awards visas on the basis of such factors could mark a radical change from the current system that awards the vast majority of the 1 million legal-permanent-residence visas (i.e. green cards) on the basis of the alien’s family ties to relatives already residing in the US or employment based preference system.
First devised in Canada, the point system was soon adopted in the ‘80s by Australia and New Zealand with a share of problems, with the UK also incorporating it in 2003. The impact for hopeful US immigrants should result in an exponentially different process for educated or trained English speakers.
Here is the main problem. Those currently qualifying as extraordinary ability aliens in the EB-1, or NIW scientists category can get on line and wait for years. That is due to the fact the point system will allow anyone in the world with a good education background to qualify to immigrate regardless of whether they have employment lined up in the US. So it may be possible that millions – perhaps tens of millions – of people might get on line and cause backlogs of decades for US green cards.
If this will in fact pass, we suggest for those that may qualify as extraordinary ability applicants to try their luck now as this option may be gone forever.
We link to 2 articles about the point system in the world and the lessons to learn below:
1. Washington Post Article on the Point System in other countries