In a memorandum on Immigration, President Obama said up to 70,000 refugees may be admitted to the U.S. during the 2015 fiscal year. The President stated that this number was well justified due to humanitarian concerns and national interest.
The number of people eligible to receive refugee status is split into an uneven quota by region. The slots available to people from various regions is as follows:
- the Near East and South Asia region received the highest allocation with 33,000.
- Africa received 17,000
- the East Asia region was allocated 13,000
- the Latin American and the Caribbean region was assigned a total of 4,000 available slots
- Europe and Central Asia was allotted 1,000
- the “Unallocated Reserve” has 2,000 slots, to be allocated as needed
The State Department can allocate the 2,000 unallocated refugee numbers to another region if the need is warranted but only after notification to the Judiciary Committees of the Congress.
Numbers of Central American Refugees Allowed into the United States is Decreased, but President Obama wants to Promote the Development of New, Safer Options for Those in Need
International and United States immigration law states that refugee status “may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.” The freedoms and opportunities the U.S. offers has made America the country of choice for many refugees. The Presidential 2015 fiscal year memorandum stated that El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are eligible to be considered refugees “for the purpose of admission to the United States within their countries of nationality or habitual residence.” These countries, known as the “Northern Triangle” are the only Latin American countries, along with Cuba, to be part of the list. However, President Obama also noted in the memo that the number of 2015 allotments for refugees from South America was being decreased to 4000, which is 1000 slots fewer than in 2014. The President did encourage the development of new programs that would allow individuals to apply for refugee status from within their own countries. This type of program was implemented successfully in countries like Haiti and Vietnam, with the goal of preventing dangerous trips to the United States. If you have questions about whether you qualify for refugee status, please call or email Your Immigration Angel today!
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador Extended for Another 18 Months!
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) period for eligible nationals of El Salvador. The extension will increase the protected status for an additional 18 months. The extension goes into effect on March 10, 2015 through September 9, 2016.
How To Apply:
Current Salvadoran beneficiaries of TPS seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60 day period that runs from January 7, 2015 – March 9, 2015.
El Salvadoran nationals applying for TPS for the first time may only apply if he or she has resided in the United States since January 7, 2015 and have been continuously physically present since April 1, 2015.
Re-designation and 18 Month Extension for Syrian TPS Holders
The Secretary of Homeland Security has re-designated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This means that the existing TPS designation for Syria now covers April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. Eligible nationals of Syria may register or re-register for TPS and remain temporarily living and working in the United States.
How to Apply
Current Syrian beneficiaries of TPS seeking extension of status must re-register during the 60 day period starting on January 5, 2015 and ending on March 6, 2015.
Syrian nationals applying for the first time may apply starting April 1, 2015. To be eligible, you need to have resided in the United States since January 5, 2015 and have had continuous physical presence in the United States since April 1, 2015.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status that may be granted to eligible nationals from certain designated countries.
Who Is Eligible for TPS?
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for TPS when it is determined that:
- There is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to that conflict, return of nationals to that state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety;
- The state has suffered an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions, the state is temporarily unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals, and the state has requested TPS designation; or
- There exist other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the state that prevent nationals from returning in safety, unless the Secretary finds that permitting nationals of the state to remain temporarily is contrary to the national interest of the United States.
What does TPS mean to you?
If you are a TPS beneficiary, you will not be required to leave the United States. You may obtain work authorization during the initial time period of your stay in the U.S. under TPS, as well as for any TPS extensions. It is important to note that TPS does not lead to permanent resident status.
A TPS designation is effective for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 18 months. Before the end of the TPS designation period, the Secretary will review the conditions in the designated state and determine whether the conditions that led to the TPS designation continue to be met. TPS designations can be terminated or extended for 6, 12, or 18 months. If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the TPS for individuals from your country of origin is not necessary any longer and the status is terminated, you will return to the same immigration status that you held before entering into TPS.
It is important that you apply correctly for TPS if you are eligible and seek qualified legal counsel to ensure that you are taking the correct steps in your immigration journey.
Two years ago, President Obama set forth the guiding principles that should lead immigration reform. Although the Senate passed a bipartisan bill more than 500 days ago, the country has been waiting, and waiting… and waiting… for House Republicans to vote. The time has come for the President to issue executive actions and address some of the problems plaguing the immigration system.
Tomorrow night, President Obama will present new immigration law reforms instituted by his executive actions. There are high hopes that these executive actions will finally help fix our broken immigration system.
You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.
A new immigration law extended the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program through the end of calendar year 2014. The Afghan Allies Protection Act was initially enacted in 2009 to permit Afghan nationals, most of whom served as translators for the U.S. military, to be granted United States immigrant visas. After being plagued by extensive backlogs, the program has resulted in the issuance of thousands of visas over the past year. The new immigration law authorizes an additional 1,000 visas to supplement the 3,000 visas already issued in 2014. The deadline to file is December 31, 2014.
If you are a qualified K-3 nonimmigrant visa applicant, your child may be eligible for a K-4 visa. USCIS will allow your child to accompany you if he or she is 21 years of age or under, and is unmarried. Additionally, for the children of the non-citizen parent to be eligible for the K-4 U.S. visa, the parent’s marriage to the petitioning U.S. citizen spouse must have occurred before the child(ren) were 18 years of age.
How to Determine Admissibility to the U.S. for a Green Card Application
“Admission” means the lawful entry into the U.S. after inspection and authorization by a United States immigration officer.
Under U.S. Immigration law, a person is seeking admission when he or she:
- is present at the border or port of entry and seeks permission to enter the U.S.
- is physically present in the U.S., but entered without inspection
- applies for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident, such as through a marriage green card
Additionally, in some instances, a lawfully admitted individual may travel abroad after being convicted of a crime and then want to return to the U.S., which is also considered seeking (re)admission.
If you are considering petitioning for your spouse to obtain a green card, let us help you so that you can avoid being separated from your loved one and can maintain your family unity. We know that separation is difficult for you. Your Immigration Angel can help you to secure the right family visas to allow you to unite with your spouses and family members. Call or email for a free consultation today!