By: Joy Dungca
H.R. 7374, or the “Jumpstart our Legal System Act” was introduced in the House by Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19). The bill aims to recapture 400,000 employment- and family-based visas and pave an accelerated path for adjustment of status applicants who are currently residing in the United States. It would also supply additional funds to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to improve visa processing. Much of the “Jumpstart” bill was described in the version of the “Build Back Better” Act that was passed by the House.
Representative Lofgren released a statement clarifying that the legislation would:
- Amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to prevent losing unused employment-based visas by guaranteeing roll-over to family-based categories.
- Bring back previously unused immigrant visas from 1992 to 2021. This will include about 222,000 family-sponsored and 157,000 employment-based visas.
- Allow approximately 40,000 applicants who were selected for diversity visas but did not receive one to reapply. This includes anyone that was unable to finalize the diversity visa process or enter the United States due to executive orders or COVID-related delays, restrictions, and closures.
- Allow those currently in the United States and eligible for adjustment to legal permanent resident (LPR) status to apply, even if their visa number is not available. This should help applicants receive work authorization while they wait and stop dependent children from aging out of eligibility.
- Exempt immigrants currently in the United States from numerical limits. The bill would also allow immigrants to apply for adjustment of status to permanent resident for a fee if their immigrant visa petition has been approved for two years.
The “Jumpstart our Legal System Act” bill is still pending in the House and is not yet law. It must be approved by the House and Senate to become effective, and it may change from its current form. Our immigration team will monitor the progress of this legislation and provide updates when they become available. For case-specific questions, contact your Chugh, LLP professional.