Great news in time for Thanksgiving!!  As you may have heard, some new immigration measures are being enacted.  While we are still waiting for final guidelines, it is not too soon to start preparing so we want to share a summary with you of some of the most exciting changes that may apply to you or someone you know.  Please feel free to share this information with your family and friends.  We are here for you and hope to support you in the upcoming months. 

Two deferred action initiatives that combined are estimated to benefit 4.4 million:

                 a)      Deferred Action for Parents (DAP).  Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since 1/1/10 who pass background checks and pay taxes, will be eligible to apply for deferred action for 3-years.  Immigration is expected to start accepting applications within 180 days.  Note that parents of DACA recipients are not eligible.

                  b)     Expansion of DACA.  DACA will be revised to eliminate the age cap, and to change the date that continuous presence must have started to 1/1/10.  It also will be granted for 3 years. Expected to start in 90 days.

 H-4 EADs:  Employment Authorization will be available for H-4 spouses.  A final regulation is expected in December.

OPT.  The length of time in OPT for STEM graduates will be expanded and the relationship between the student and the school will be strengthened for this period. Other changes, such as allowing STEM OPT post-master’s degree where only the first degree is in a STEM field is under consideration. This will be done by regulation.

I-601a Waivers.  The provisional waiver will be expanded to include sons and daughters of US citizens, and spouses and sons and daughters of LPRs. This means that people in the first 3 family-based preference categories can apply for waivers before leaving the U.S.

Foreign Entrepreneurs. Certain investors will be able to be paroled into the U.S., or be granted parole in place if already in the United States, for job creation (no further details at this time). This will be done by regulation. Also, entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, and founders will be eligible for national interest waivers. This will be implemented through policy guidance.

Pre-registration for Adjustment of Status.  Individuals with an approved employment-based immigrant petition who are caught in the quota backlogs will be able to pre-register for adjustment of status to obtain the benefits of a pending adjustment.  This will be done by regulation.

Pending Proceedings.  There will be a review of cases currently in removal proceedings to see who is eligible for the relief stated in this program, and those cases will be closed. 

U/T Visas.  Three more types of offenses will be added to the list of offenses for which DOL can certify for U status, as victims of certain crimes, to include victims of extortion, forced labor and fraud in foreign contracting. 

Parole in Place.  PIP will be expanded to include families of individuals trying to enlist in the armed forces.

 

Aside from these changes, the Department of Homeland Security has also approved Temporary Protected Status for citizens of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone “continuously residing” in the United States since November 20, 2014.