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What is the New Worker Permit Law in Utah? - Liberty Law

Utah has taken a controversial step in addressing the illegal immigration issue. With the passage of H.B. 116, the state has provided a path to legal residency to those illegal immigrants either living or working in Utah.

Under the provisions of H.B. 116, an undocumented immigrant may apply for a Guest Worker Permit. The individual seeking the permit must initially pass a criminal background check. If that person entered the country legally, but subsequently did not comply with immigration laws, he or she must pay a $1000.00 fine to Utah. If that person entered the country illegally, the fine shall be $2500.00. Additionally, proof of health insurance must be provided.

In the two-year time period the permit is in effect, the immigrant/applicant must also obtain English language proficiency (at a high school level) and maintain employment. At the conclusion of the two-year period, the immigrant/applicant may either apply for permanent residency or apply for a renewal of the Guest Worker Permit.

There is one major issue. Utah, as a state, cannot address immigration law without the approval of the federal government. The current administration must waive some or all of its sovereignty on immigration issues, as defined in the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, for H.B. 116 to take effect.

This is why the H.B. 116 guidelines are not scheduled to be implemented until 2013 at the earliest. Please contact an experienced Salt Lake City immigration attorney to best understand your rights and responsibilities.