What are the consequences of ‘merit’ on a family-based immigration system?

Last update: May 7, 2019

What is it?
In a merit-based system, applicants would get points based on their ‘characteristics’. Family ties are one of the characteristics, among others.

What could be the characteristics?
Family ties would remain one of the key characteristics. But others would be added, most likely: employment background, level of formal education, age (favoring young people), and mastery of the English language.

How would the point-system work?
An applicant gets between zero and the maximum number of points for each characteristic, which are then added for a final score. Not all the categories are worth the same number of points.

Who would get a green card?
Two options are likely: either applicants with the highest number of points, or applicants who have a ‘pass mark’ (more than a set number of points).

Can there be more than one point-system?
Yes. Look for differences between high-skilled and less-skilled individuals.

Would merit-based immigration replace family-based immigration?
Not totally, no. Areas most likely to be transferred to merit-based would be siblings of U.S. citizens, married children of U.S. citizens, and certain parents of U.S. citizens.