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Biden Proposes Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Spouses of US Citizens

By Nita Nicole Upadhye

Table of Contents

On June 25, 2024, President Joe Biden unveiled a program offering a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants married to US citizens.

The program, set to roll out in the coming months, will be available to an estimated 500,000 spouses who have lived in the US for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.

Children of undocumented immigrants married to US citizens could also qualify under the new process. This could see approximately 50,000 children under age 21 with a U.S.-citizen parent become eligible.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, those eligible for this process have resided in the US for an average of 23 years, with the majority of potential beneficiaries expected to be Mexicans.

The program will enable spouses and children to apply for permanent residence without leaving the US, thereby avoiding a potentially lengthy process and family separation. Eventually, they can apply for US citizenship.

Faced with record levels of migrant arrests at the US-Mexico border, Biden has recently adopted a tougher stance on immigration compared with his original position when initially taking office. Earlier this month, Biden implemented a policy barring most migrants crossing the US-Mexico border from requesting asylum, a move similar to a Trump-era asylum ban.

Despite this, Biden’s planned legalization program for spouses of US citizens could bolster his campaign message of supporting a more humane immigration system and highlight his differences from Trump, known for his hardline stance on both legal and illegal immigration.

Further information on the new program is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.

The announcement also included proposals to expedite access to high skilled work visas for DACA recipients.

 
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.
 

Author

Founder & Principal Attorney Nita Nicole Upadhye is a recognized leader in the field of US business immigration law, (The Legal 500, Who's Who Legal and AILA) and an experienced and trusted advisor to large multinational corporates through to SMEs. She provides strategic immigration advice and specialist application support to corporations and professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, artists, actors and athletes from across the globe to meet their US-bound talent mobility needs.

Nita is an active public speaker, thought leader, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals.

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.​

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.

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For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.

For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.