In November, President Obama laid out his plans for executive actions to provide aid to undocumented immigrants in the United States. Listed here are the five major initiatives and what they do. For further information on each of these, please contact the Pappas Group to learn more.
- The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would allow current DACA recipients seeking renewals and new applicants to apply, providing they meeting DACA guidelines. It would also remove the upper age restriction, which kept those born prior to June 15, 1981, from applying. Other requirements including continuous residency in the US since January 1, 2010. Plus the deferred action period and employment authorization is extended from two years to three years. These changes will take place 90 days after the President’s announcement (which was November 20).
- Deferred action for parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents are eligible to request deferred action and employment authorization providing they have lived in the US continuously since January 1, 2010; the parents of a citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and are not a priority for removal from the United States. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This will be effective after 180 days of the President’s announcement.
- The federal government will also grant provisional waivers of unlawful presence to select individuals. This initiative will expand the provisional waiver that was announced in 2013 to allow spouses, sons, or daughters of lawful permanent residents as well as sons and daughters of US citizens. It also clarifies the meaning of “extreme hardship” that must be met to get a waiver.
- USCIS also will help to modernize, improve, and clarify programs for both immigrants and nonimmigrants to improve our economy. There are several steps within this initiative, from allocating immigrant visas and modifying the Visa Bulletin system to developing new regulations for the use of optional practice training and providing clear guidance on “specialized knowledge.”
- There will also be greater attempts to promote the naturalization process throughout 2015. The goal will be to promote education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents about becoming citizens. It will also allow applicants to pay application fees by credit card and consider potential partial fee waivers after the next biennial fee study.
While these initiatives are fairly straightforward, one should not try and navigate them alone. For more information and a better understanding on all of these new provisions, get in touch with the immigration attorneys with the Pappas Group today.