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Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz Applauds Inclusion of Merit-Based Visas in Major Immigration Reform Bill

Dallas, TX, April 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the most sweeping immigration bill in 60 years, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has introduced legislation to revamp the U.S. immigration system.

The Senate bill comprehensively addresses border security, provides a path to provisional immigrant status for those foreign nationals already here, creates a new guest worker program, and establishes a merit basis for future U.S. immigration to replace an existing immigration "Diversity Visa Program." The bill includes other changes, as well.

"The Senate proposal removes the Diversity Visa Program, a random selection of foreign national applicants who annually apply, as a basis to immigrate to the U.S. Instead, the merit-based system will select foreign national applicants based on what education, skills and other characteristics the nation believes will best serve it," said Stewart Rabinowitz, a Dallas immigration lawyer. "With certain employment-based visa numbers for foreign nationals from India and China backlogged for 10 years or longer, the continued existence of the Diversity Visa Program which annually chooses and admits more than 50,000 foreign nationals and has no backlog, makes no rational sense."

The merit-based system is in addition to family- and employment-based categories. The system assigns foreign national applicants points based on stated criteria in a two-tier structure. Varying numbers of points in Tier 1 are assigned to the applicant's educational level, employment experience or offers of employment in desirable fields, entrepreneurship, in addition to English language ability, existing citizen family members, and other factors.

Varying numbers of points in Tier 2 are assigned to the applicant's U.S. employment experience, special or high-demand occupation employment experience, caregiver work, exceptional employment record, civic involvement, in addition to English language ability, existing citizen family members, and other factors.

Foreign national applicants with the highest number of merit-based points will be eligible to be admitted as lawful permanent residents. The merit based program flexibly provides between 120,000-250,000 visas annually.

After transition into the program, half of the annual merit-based visas will be allocated to each tier. Visas unused during one fiscal year can be recaptured the following year. In fiscal year 2014, there would be merit based Tier 2 eligibility for foreign nationals with long-pending family or employment-based approved petitions who have been waiting 5 or more years.

To learn more about Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., call 1.972.233.6200 or visit http://www.rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.

CONTACT: Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. 14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580 Dallas, TX 75254 Phone: 972.233.6200 Source:Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.