DHS announced that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia who already hold TPS. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve. The new extension allows qualifying individuals from Somalia to reapply for TPS until December 31, 2013. There is no automatic extension of previously-issued work authorization because there is sufficient time for applicants to apply for and receive new work authorization documents. The new work authorization documents will be valid until September 17, 2015. The DHS press release can be found here.
Starting today, March 4, 2013, USCIS will begin accepting applications for “provisional waiver” of unlawful presence from spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens on Form I-601A.
As we explained in more detail in a previous post, these “immediate relatives” who qualify for the provisional waiver may now apply while they are still in the United States, and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at U.S. embassies and consulates in their home countries. Before the provisional waiver process was established, they were required to travel abroad and be found inadmissible at their interviews before they could apply for the waiver, dramatically lengthening the time periods they were separated from their U.S. families.
For details on eligibility and additional information, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/provisionalwaiver.
DHS Announces Final Rule for Certain Family Members of US Citizens to Obtain "Stateside Waivers" of Unlawful Presence
On January 3, 2013, DHS announced publication of its final rule for certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens to obtain provisional waivers of unlawful presence from within the United States, prior to leaving in order to apply for required immigrant visas at US consulates in their home countries. The new rule and procedures will become effective on March 4, 2013.Continue Reading...
On October 5, 2012, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) issued additional criteria for determining when individuals who are in committed, long-term, same-sex partnerships may avoid removal (i.e., deportation) from the United States. According to the memorandum, the following factors are relevant (though not sufficient) in exercising favorable prosecutorial discretion:
- The partners are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
- The partners are not in a marital or other domestic relationship with anyone else; and
- The partners typically maintain a common residence and share financial obligations and assets.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that undocumented youth who were brought here as children and who meet certain criteria are now eligible for "deferred action," a form of long-term relief from deportation that allows employment authorization and college attendance, but does not lead to a green card. Known as DREAMers (after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which Congress has failed to pass each time it has been introduced since 2001), these young people have become increasingly vocal and visible in public protests and in the media.Continue Reading...
DHS announced that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of El Salvador who already hold TPS. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve. The new extension allows qualifying individuals from El Salvador to reapply for TPS and work authorization that will be valid until September 9, 2013. The re-registration period runs until March 9, 2012. The USCIS will issue new employment authorization documents for those who timely re-register. The USCIS is automatically extending employment authorization documents bearing March 9, 2012, expiration dates for an additional six months, until September 9, 2012. This will allow TPS beneficiaries to continue working until their new employment cards are issued. The DHS press release can be found here.
USCIS has announced a range of benefits that may be available to Japanese nationals following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Those who are here on Visa Waiver, which requires departure within 90 days, may visit a local USCIS office (see USCIS Office Locator) for help in remaining longer. Those who are at US airports may visit the office of US Customs and Border Protection there. USCIS will approve changes of status and extensions that might not otherwise be approvable due to untimely filing or failure to maintain status. USCIS will also renew grants of parole, expedite applications for travel documents, expedite and approve applications for student employment authorization based on hardship and other employment authorization applications, and expedite processing of immediate relative petitions. USCIS will also coordinate with the State Department to help Japanese nationals who are permanent residents of the US and are stranded overseas without immigration documents.
Hunton & Williams LLP has received The National Law Journal's 2011 Pro Bono Award, recognizing six law firms that "best reflect the pro bono tradition" The firm was lauded as one of three law firms that led the profession's response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Representing Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, a Hunton & Williams team -- including attorney Suzan Kern and senior professional assistant Carol Schlenker of the immigration practice group -- urged the Department of Homeland Security to extend the deadline for Haitians in the United States to apply for Temporary Protected Status, and conferred with USCIS to remove obstacles to the TPS filing process.
For details, please see the announcement on the Hunton & Williams website.
USCIS recently announced how the agency will implement the Help HAITI Act of 2010, which authorizes lawful permanent resident status (a "green card") for orphaned children from Haiti who were paroled into the United States after the January 12, 2010, earthquake under the "Haitian Orphan Parole Program." For more details, visit the USCIS's website on the parole program and its associated links.
DHS announced that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Somalia who already hold TPS. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve. The new extension allows qualifying individuals from Somalia to reapply for TPS and work authorization that will be valid until September 17, 2012. The re-registration period for began on November 2, 2010, and ends on January 3, 2011. The USCIS will issue new employment authorization documents for those who timely re-register. The DHS press release and FAQs for applicants and employers can be found here.
On July 13, 2010, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that Haitians who qualify for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) now have until January 18, 2011, to register. The previous registration deadline was July 20, 2010. For additional information on Haiti TPS and related advocacy efforts, see "Coalition of US Charities Launches Efforts To Support Long-Term Haiti Rebuilding" and "DHS Designates Haiti for Temporary Protected Status and Provides Other Haitian Relief".
DHS announced today that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduran and Nicaraguan nationals who already hold TPS. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve. The new extensions allow qualifying individuals from Honduras and Nicaragua to reapply for TPS and work authorization that will be valid until January 5, 2012. The re-registration period for begins on May 5, 2010, and ends on July 6, 2010. Employment authorization documents held by qualifying individuals already set to expire on July 6, 2010, are automatically extended through January 5, 2011. Employers can rely on the DHS announcement for I-9 employment verification and reverification purposes. The DHS press releases and FAQs for applicants and employers can be found at these links: HONDURAS and NICARAGUA.
Hunton & Williams LLP, on behalf of Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, the Episcopal Bishop of Haiti, and a coalition of 49 U.S. charitable organizations, has launched an effort to put as much as $1 billion directly into the Haitian economy over the next three years as the country recovers from the recent devastating earthquake.Continue Reading...
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) when conditions make it unsafe for citizens of that country who are in the United States to return. TPS is usually granted when there is ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Due to the recent 7.0 magnitude earthquake, DHS has designated Haiti for TPS.Continue Reading...
On November 2, 2009, the Centers for Disease Control of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule removing HIV infection from the list of "communicable diseases of public health significance," effective January 4, 2010. The rule means that HIV-positive foreign nationals will no longer be inadmissible to the United States or require waivers in order to be approved for nonimmigrant or immigrant visas. It also means HIV testing will no longer be part of immigration medical exams. The entire rule may be read here.
On March 26, 2009, President Obama extended Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for qualifying Liberian nationals. DED is used by the President as an exercise of his constitutional power to conduct foreign relations, and provides qualifying individuals a temporary stay of removal, as well as employment authorization. In response to the President's announcement, the USCIS extended employment authorization documents (EADs) for Liberian nationals through March 31, 2010. Qualifying Liberian nationals can take steps to obtain new EADs to allow them to continue working lawfully in the United States. They may continue working lawfully under this provision through September 30, 2009, without new EADs, but must have new EADs in hand to continue working after that date. The President's memorandum can be read here. The USCIS announcement and its Questions/Answers on DED can be read here and here. The Federal Register notice explaining the DED/EAD application procedure and how employers can update their I-9s can be read here.