WASHINGTON, Nov 21 : Millions of immigrants living illegally in the US will be allowed to apply for work permits under a major shake-up unveiled on Thursday by President Barack Obama.
They include immigrants who have been in the US for five years and have children staying legally in the US.
About four million people are expected to benefit from a reform package forced through using executive orders, which allow Obama to bypass Congress.
Republicans have accused the president of an "illegal power-grab".
There are estimated to be 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.
Under Obama's plan, undocumented parents of children who are US citizens or legal residents will be able to apply for work permits lasting three years.
Only parents who have lived in the US for five years will qualify. ?BBC Online