Reported Details of Immigration Reform

November 20, 2014


For up-to-date information on Obama’s immigration reform efforts, please see our Immigration Reform page.


Shortly after his speech concluded Thursday night, details of President Obama’s plans for immigration reform began to emerge. Notable among those details:

  1. As previously announced, H-4 visa holders will be able to apply for Employment Authorization cards (EADs) if their spouse is the beneficiary of an approved I-140, but is stuck in a quota backlog;
  2. Along the same lines, I-140 beneficiaries stuck in a backlog will be permitted to “obtain the benefits of a pending adjustment.” Hopefully, this will include eligibility to apply for EADs, as well as greater flexibility to pursue other employment opportunities without having to restart various elements of the permanent residence process.
  3. Attempts will be made to free up additional visas (including the possibility of re-using unused visa numbers, and of no longer counting derivatives towards quotas);
  4. The maximum period allowed for Optional Practical Training (OPT) will be extended for STEM graduates
  5. Deferred Action will be massively expanded, as predicted. This will include Deferred Action for Parents (DAP), as well as an expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which will remove the age cap and change the latest-allowable date of arrival from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. Quoting AILA, “The expanded DACA should be up and running in 90 days and deferred action for parents in 180 days. Note: no initiative specifically for parents of DACA recipients was included.”

Obviously, this is a still-developing story, so expect many more details and clarifications to follow.

Obama Immigration

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