On June 18, 2024, President Biden announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will implement new measures to ensure that U.S. citizens with noncitizen spouses and children can keep their families together. The announcement also includes measures to ease the visa process for U.S. college graduates, including Dreamers.

Process to Promote the Unity and Stability of Families

The Biden administration’s new process will allow certain noncitizen spouses and children to apply for lawful permanent residency without having to leave the United States. According to the administration, these actions will “promote family unity and strengthen our economy, providing a significant benefit to the country and helping U.S. citizens and their noncitizen family members stay together.”

DHS further provides that it will establish a new process to consider, on a case-by-case basis, permanent residency requests for certain noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens who have lived in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024, do not pose a threat to public safety or national security, are otherwise eligible to apply for an adjustment of status, and merit a favorable exercise of discretion.

Eligible noncitizen spouses who qualify for the parole in place program will be given a three-year period to apply for adjustment of status. Noncitizen children of potential requestors may also be considered for parole under this process. During this three-year period, applicants will be eligible for work authorization and be protected from removal.

DHS estimates that approximately 500,000 noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens and an additional 50,000 children of these spouses will be eligible for the process. DHS states that further information regarding the application process and notice in the Federal Register will be published in the “near term.”

Action for DACA Recipients and Others

President Biden’s announcement will allow individuals, including DACA recipients and other Dreamers, who have earned a degree at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education, and who have received an offer of employment from a U.S. employer, to obtain work authorization more swiftly. The Biden administration plans to implement a path to employment-based nonimmigrant status, such as the H-1B visa, for these individuals.

DHS elaborated on President Biden’s announcement, stating that it will join the Department of State to clarify and enhance existing processes, which will give U.S. employers “increased confidence that they can hire the talent they need, and that they will be able to quickly get to work.”

Though details on the program have not yet been released, additional announcements from the Biden administration and official notice in the Federal Register are anticipated in the coming weeks.