The immigration bill expected to be unveiled in the U.S. Senate next week may prevent hundreds of thousands of people from becoming citizens.
A Senate aide tells the AP that anyone who entered the country illegally after December 31, 2011 would be excluded from applying for legal status.
Applicants would need to prove they arrived here before that date, have a clean criminal record and show they are financially stable enough to stay off public assistance.
The legislation was crafted by a bipartisan group of eight senators.
They have reached agreement on a framework to overhaul a host of immigration programs, require employers to verify the legal status of their workers and improve border security.
The bill would create a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.