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Proposed immigration billed includes merit-based system

Immigration continues to be a hot topic in the United States as the executive branch and legislative branch grapple with different ideas for reform. The latest proposal, announced by the president, would feature a point system for evaluating potential visa holders and aim to reduce the amount of legal immigration into the country.

With a goal of potentially halving legal immigration into the country - including those seeking visas to work - the proposed system evaluates applicants by granting points based on a number of factors. For example, an applicant's education would be considered, with higher level of education being given more points. The most points possible would be 13, given to an applicant who completed a professional or doctorate degree here in the US.

The age of the applicant would also be an important consideration. Those in the prime working ages of 26-30 would receive the most, with applicants 18 years or younger, or 50 years and older, receiving no points. Other more common applicant factors that would be used include the applicant's ability to speak English and whether there is a job offer. Interestingly, some rarer factors such as earning a Nobel Prize or an Olympic Medal would earn an applicant additional points. Under the proposal, and applicant would have to have at least 30 points to apply.

Of course, the proposal is just that at this point - the plan will need to be introduced to Congress, who will independently consider its merits and make a determination on whether to advance it. That process can always include minor, or even major, changes, and there is certainly the possibility that the proposal would not make it through the legislative process.

So, while it will be important to stay up-to-date on this and other proposals that could affect how immigration works in this country, the system will continue to operate under the current law. For those facing current challenges obtaining visas or applying for residency, working with a legal professional well versed in the law is an important step towards obtaining the desired legal status to remain and prosper right here in Kentucky.

Source: Fox43.com, "Trump rolls out merit-based immigration system," Aug. 3, 2017

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