President Obama Announces Immigration Action
Executive Actions & Benefits Outlined
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced several Executive Actions that will provide benefits to several foreign nationals living in the United States. Eligible individuals may apply for benefits somewhere in the next 90 days to 6 months as USCIS is able to implement the President’s Orders.
USCIS has published guidelines outlining the benefits available here. The orders will include the following benefits:
1) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will now include people who have been living in the United States as of January 1, 2010, before reaching the age of 16, and will no longer have an upper age restriction of 31 years of age. Additionally, DACA recipients will get work authorization for a period of three (3) years, not two (2) years.
2) Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) is a new program that will allow persons who were parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) as of 11/20/2014 who have resided continuously in the United States since January 1, 2010 and have not committed certain criminal offenses to obtain employment authorization.
3) Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence will now be available for undocumented persons who have lived in the United States for at least 180 days who are the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens or the spouses, sons or daughters of Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders). This means that persons can ask for a waiver of unlawful presence from the United States without going abroad and waiting for a consular post to adjudicate the waiver request for several months outside the country.
4) Pre-registration for foreign nationals who have approved I-140 Petitions and are waiting for a visa number to file for adjustment of status (green card). This will be a huge benefit for persons who have an approved visa petition but cannot file for Employment Authorization due to the waiting line for visas. The persons will be able to apply for a travel document and EAD.
5) H-4 Employment Authorization will become available for certain spouses of H1-B employees who have an approved visa petition but cannot file for adjustment of status because they are waiting for a visa to become available.
6) U.S. Citizenship Application Fees may be able to be paid with a credit card to encourage individuals to apply for U.S. citizenship.
The President’s Executive Action is estimated to provide relief to 5 million people.
Call Hykel Law today to learn if you may be eligible for these benefits. 215-246-9400.
The President’s plan has also delineated classes of persons who the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) should focus on apprehending and deporting. These enforcement priorities are outlined in a Memorandum from the Secretary of DHS, Jeh Johnson, which can be viewed here: 11202014 Johnson Memo Re Enforcement Priorities.
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Although it often comes with controversy, immigration into the United States has always played a major role in the strength of its economy. Perhaps no one understands this more than the residents of Philadelphia, where the Liberty Bell still welcomes foreigners to one of the richest historical communities of our country.
Not knowing or understanding the system and laws of the U.S. can be a disadvantage for many foreign immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the United States, either for themselves or for their loved ones. Hykel Law’s Family-Based Immigration Services can lead you through the complicated process to achieve either temporary or permanent residency, depending on your situation.
Are you afraid of deportation? If you are a foreign national involved in the beginning stages of removal proceedings, the deportation attorney at Hykel Law in Philadelphia can help prevent this unfortunate situation. We can evaluate your immigration case and find the best strategy to defend you from removal proceedings to help you stay in the United States.