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!
It’s almost Valentine’s Day! What could be more romantic than ensuring that you and your spouse can live together in the United States, happily ever after? Marriage green cards are a great immigration option for many immigrants who have married U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. But along with a number of other eligibility requirements (see our post on eligibility) your relationship must be able to withstand the scrutiny of USCIS!
USCIS needs to be assured that you are in a bona fide marriage. When two people get married and intend to establish a life together as spouses, the marriage is bona fide. A marriage entered into for the sole purpose of getting a green card is not bona fide. It’s called a “sham” or “fraudulent” marriage, and the USCIS tries to uncover these fake marriages and will refuse to issue green cards to people in a marriage that does not appear to be bona fide. USCIS is very strict in determining whether a marriage is bona fide. You will be asked many questions during the course of your application process and you will have to provide extensive documentation to show that you are establishing a life together. How can you prove that your relationship is bona fide? Continue reading
What will USCIS do if my DACA and EAD expire before my DACA renewal application has been approved?
USCIS may provide you with temporary DACA and an EAD, but only if you submitted your renewal application at least 120 days before your DACA and EAD expiration date and your DACA and EAD expire before your application is approved. However, if you submitted your renewal application fewer than 120 days before the DACA and EAD expiration date, and they expire while USCIS is still processing the application, then you will likely lose your DACA status and employment authorization until USCIS makes a decision about the renewal application. If this happens, you will no longer be lawfully present in the U.S. This means that you begin accruing unlawful presence time if you are age 18 or older. You will no longer have legal authorization to work after your EAD expires, so you may also be at risk of losing your employment. Due to the possible negative repercussions of an expired DACA and EAD, it is very important that you apply for renewal no later than 120 days before the expiration of your DACA and EAD. If you need assistance with your EAD or DACA renewal, please call or email Your Immigration Angel today! We are ready to help you before it is too late!
How do I apply for TPS from USCIS?
If you are applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the first time, you must submit an Application for Temporary Protected Status to USCIS with the appropriate filing fee. You will have to provide evidence to prove your identity and nationality, proof of residence, and, if you are age 14 or older, a fee for biometric services. If you are between the ages of 14 and 65 and want employment authorization, you should also complete and submit an Application for Employment Authorization to USCIS with the appropriate fee. Applicants who already have or do not wish to receive employment authorization still must submit a different USCIS Form.
If you are granted TPS, you must re-register with the USCIS for each period that your TPS benefits are extended. To re-register, you must complete and submit two separate applications and any applicable fees to USCIS during the period stated in the Federal Register notice of extension of the TPS designation. If you do not re-register each period, your TPS may be withdrawn. This is a very time sensitive application and you want to make sure that you are submitting the correct paperwork and fees to USCIS. If you need any help in applying to re-register for TPS, please feel free to call or email today!
Learning About the Status of Your Immigration Application
Your immigration journey is one that may have been long in the planning and the making. If you have any applications submitted to USCIS, you may be anvious to know of any change in status or progress in your case. Did you know that checking the status of your application is often quite simple? In many instances, you can log onto USCIS’s website and select ‘My Case Status’.
It is important to note that an e-filled receipt number is not necessarily available through this option for at least 72 hours after submitting your forms.
In case you are unable to get a status update, you can also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center. Before you contact the department, make certain that you have your specific information from your application handy so you are ready to provide this information.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal Eligibility
USCIS instructions for DACA renewal applications specify that a person may be considered for DACA renewal if he or she met the guidelines for consideration of initial DACA and
- did not depart the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- has continuously resided in the United States since submitting the prior DACA application, and
- has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and is not a threat to national security or public safety.
However, USCIS may ask you for additional information as well as for documents to verify the information on your DACA renewal application.
Please note that eligibility for DACA renewal is not limited to people who currently are under age 31. You cannot “age out” of eligibility for DACA if you were born after June 15, 1981. You do not need to have a job in order to be eligible for DACA renewal. You do not have to be enrolled in college to be eligible for DACA renewal.
If you need help in applying for your DACA renewal or need help in gathering your evidence and documents, please call 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.