Young immigrants in the country without legal papers, who often call themselves “Dreamers,” and low-skilled agricultural workers would qualify for an expedited road to legal status, people familiar with the negotiations said. The Dreamers should not be punished for being brought illegally to the country by their parents, House aides said, and the members agreed that the agricultural workers perform crucial work for the economy. …

The second group to receive a path to legal permanent residence would be immigrants who have either a family or an employment relationship that would allow them to apply for legal status, except that they have already entered the country illegally. Currently, most of those immigrants would have to return to their home country for either 3 or 10 years before they would be eligible to reapply.

The House bill would most likely relax or waive those barriers. Immigrants would then have to return to their home country to apply for legal status, aides said, but could do so only after completing a series of hurdles including paying fines and back taxes and learning English, aides said.

The remaining illegal immigrants could apply for “provisional legal status” if they came forward and admitted breaking the law, paid fines and back taxes, and learned English, much as they could under the Senate plan, aides said. This status would allow them to live, work and travel in the country legally, and they could then apply through regular channels for a green card after 10 years and citizenship 5 years after that.