TEMPORARY RELIEF AND OTHER VISAS
DACA & DAPA Programs
DACA was a program that granted deferred action for two years and temporary relief from deportation to individuals who came to the U.S. as children. DACA applicants were also be eligible for temporary work authorization. On September 5, 2017, President Trump ended the DACA program leaving it to Congress to enact a more permanent solution to resolve the situation for DACA recipients. It issued a policy memorandum aimed a winding down the program and will USCIS will do as follows:
Will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—properly filed pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum.
Will reject all DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed after the date of this memorandum.
Will adjudicate—on an individual, case by case basis—properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between the date of this memorandum and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted by the Department as of October 5, 2017.
Will reject all DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed outside of the parameters specified above.
Will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke Employment Authorization Documents solely based on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
Will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, although it will generally honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. Notwithstanding the continued validity of advance parole approvals previously granted, CBP will—of course—retain the authority it has always had and exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border and the eligibility of such persons for parole. Further, USCIS will—of course—retain the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.
Will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole filed under standards associated with the DACA program, and will refund all associated fees.
Will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.
To read the entire policy memorandum, please visit: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/09/05/memorandum-rescission-daca
DAPA referred to an executive action from President Obama where it plan to grant deferred action to individuals who:
have no status as of November 20, 2014;
is a parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014;
have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010; and
have not been convicted of a felony or 3 or more misdemeanors, or significant misdemeanors.
Note that an equally divided US Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the lower court effectively blocking the implementation of DAPA and the extended version of DACA. Now that President Trump has permanent suspended DACA it remains to be seen if Congress can pass a law that would grant benefits to immigrants that would be eligible to apply under either program.
Diversity Lottery Visas
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) is available every year. Eligibility depends on whether you are a national of a country with low rates of immigration to the U.S. To qualify, the principal DV applicant must have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience.
Lottery winners residing outside the United States can immigrate through consular processing and issuance of an immigrant visa. Lottery winners in the U.S. can apply for adjustment of status, if eligible.
Temporary Protective status Refugee & Asylum
The Department of Homeland Security may designate what nationals can apply for protective status due to his/her country conditions that prevent the safety return of its nationals. Currently, the nationals who can apply for TPS status are from El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leon, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria.
Refugee & Asylee Status
Refugee and Asylee status is available for individuals who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Refugees status are issued to individuals who are outside of their country and are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm. Refugee status is granted outside the U.S.
Asylum is granted to individuals who are already in the U.S. and can show that they fear persecution if they go back to their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
Asylees are able to remain in the U.S. apply for permanent residence and permission to work while their application is pending.
T and U visas
Congress established T visas for human trafficking victim in an effort to assist law enforcement prosecute these crimes while offering protection to the victims. T visas are availabe for individuals who :
are or were victims of trafficking;
Are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking;·
Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking;
Will suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States;
Are not inadmissible to the U.S. (waivers of inadmissibility are available.)
U visas are available for victims of serious crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the having been a victim and who are helpful to law enforcement in the prosecution or in the investigation of such a crime. The criminal activity includes:
Abduction, Abusive Sexual Contact, Blackmail, Domestic Violence,Extortion, False Imprisonment, Female Genital Mutilation, Felonious Assault, Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting, Hostage, Incest, Involuntary Servitude, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Murder, Obstruction of Justice, Espionage,Perjury, Prostitution, Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Slave trade, Stalking, Torture, Trafficking, Witness Tampering Unlawful Criminal Restraint and other Related Crimes.