On November 27, 2012, Senators Kyl (R-AZ), Hutchison (R-TX), and McCain (R-AZ) introduced the ACHIEVE Act. The ACHIEVE Act will allow individuals who meet the established criteria to obtain a series of conditional nonimmigrant visas designated as W-1, W-2, W-3.

Key difference from the DREAM Act:

  • ACHIEVE Act does not provide a green card to the beneficiaries but creates instead a “permanent nonimmigrant status”
  • ACHIEVE Act restricts eligibility to a more narrow class of individuals than DREAM
  • Comparison of ACHIEVE Act and DREAM Act (First Focus)

Some of the eligibility requirements for the initial W-1 visa:

  • Initially entered the United States under the age of 14
  • Under the age of 29 years on the date of enactment (32 years for those who earned a bachelor’s degree/associate’s degree prior to enactment of the Act)
  • Continuous physical residence in the United States during the 5-year period preceding enactment
  • Good moral character since the date of initial entry
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, crime of moral turpitude, or a misdemeanor under Federal or State law punishable by imprisonment of more than 30 days. (Exception exists for traffic violation that does not include alcohol or controlled substances)
  • Does not have a final order of removal (with some exceptions)
  • Earned a high school diploma from a high school in the U.S. or a GED; AND
    • Is enlisted/intending to enlist in the military;
    • Is admitted as a student to an institute of higher education;
    • Has earned a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree; or
    • Has served for a period of at least 4 years in one of the branches of the Armed Forces and was not dishonorably discharged

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 12112746.

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