Senate Parliamentarian Ruling Blocks Inclusion of Major Immigration Law Reform as Part of the $3.5 trillion Democratic Budget Bill - Likely Ending Chances of Major Immigration Changes from Congress in 2021
On Sunday, September 19, 2021 the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that immigration law changes proposed by the Democrats could not be included in the $3.5 trillion Budget Reconciliation process pending in Congress. Because of the gridlock in the House and Senate, failure to include the immigration law changes in this bill likely ends chances for major immigration legislation in 2021. The proposed immigration law changes would have helped create a pathway to citizenship for 6 million people, including "dreamers" - undocumented migrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Faced With Enormous Backlogs of Visa Applicants at U.S. Consulates due to the COVID Pandemic, the State Department Announces New "Tiered Approach" for Immigrant Visa Interviews
On September, 13, 2021 the U.S. Department of State announced its use of a four-tiered system of priority categories for immigrant visa appointments at U.S. consulates worldwide. The highest priority immigrant visas are assigned to Tier One, including inter-country adoption cases, age-out cases, certain special immigrant visas for Afghan, Syrian and Iranian nationals working with the U.S. government and emergency cases. Tier Two is assigned to Immediate Relative petitions by U.S. citizens, fiancé visas and Returning Resident visas. Tier Three includes family preference immigrant visas and special immigrant visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad. Tier Four includes all other immigrant visas such as employment-based and diversity visas.