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Biden Eases Work-Visa Process for U.S. Grads and Dreamers

In addition to the executive action for spouses of U.S. citizens, Biden announced a new change for our young immigrants, to streamline the work visa process for college graduates.

Before, many DACA students could obtain work permits (which are temporary and not a legal status). But those work permits are not the same as employment-visas which can lead to a green card based on an employer sponsor.

Here are the key points:

Eligibility Requirements: The executive order will not change the basic requirements for work visas like the H-1B. However, it could indicate a policy shift to prioritize applications from individuals who graduated from U.S. colleges and universities, including DACA recipients and Dreamers.

Waivers for Previous Unlawful Presence: For individuals who might be inadmissible due to prior unlawful presence in the U.S., the administration wants to provide additional certainty and speed around the waiver process.

National Interest: The U.S. government prioritizes retaining foreign-educated individuals, recognizing their value to the national interest.

High-Skilled Jobs: As part of the order, the government will also likely expand on the current definition of “high-skilled jobs.” Right now, these jobs are mostly linked to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. However, the government recognizes that other occupations outside of STEM may also require a high level of education, specialized knowledge, or unique skills. By providing more detailed definitions the government hopes to attract a wider range of skilled workers to the U.S., potentially opening up more pathways for individuals in non-STEM fields.


Currently, DACA recipients can work legally in the U.S. with temporary work permits tied to their DACA status. These permits are different than certain work visas, like the H-1B, which offer a distinct immigration status and the potential for a path to permanent residency through employment-based sponsorship.

One benefit of obtaining a work visa for a DACA holder is that it opens the possibility of obtaining a green card through employment-based sponsorship.

There are some exciting changes to be published officially soon. Keep following Mundo Legal on our social media pages and join our newsletter to keep up to speed on all of the changes in the coming months.

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