Undocumented workers in Utah will be allowed to apply for temporary legal residency under legislation signed into law last week. HB 469, the Utah Pilot Sponsored Resident Immigrant Program Act, surprised politicians with its forward-thinking approach.
Under the program, illegal immigrants working in Utah can apply for legal temporary resident status if they pass a health and background check, and can show that they have not been convicted of or pled anything but not guilty to a felony or class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor is an offense serious enough to be punished by a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
The immigrant must also have a sponsor who is willing to take responsibility for his or her income.
The immigrant is also not eligible if they come from a country that is categorized by the U.S. government as a state sponsor of terrorism or is a state the United States has declared war on or imposed sanctions against.
If approved, the guest worker is not allowed to leave the state of Utah while living there.