As you may have heard, the President has announced a series of Executive Actions that provide a good start to a positive impact on the ability of numerous noncitizens to obtain immigration benefits. While the details of some of these changes and the application procedure for others have not been worked out, I want to summarize these changes because you, your family, or your friends may benefit from them. As a whole, the Executive Actions shift immigration enforcement priorities and suggest some rules that might be implemented. How this shift might impact you requires the government to make an individualized determination about you and your situation.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being expanded. DACA work permits will now be issued for three years instead of two and the government is working to develop a way for those with two-year work permits to obtain the three-year work permits. More significantly, DACA will be available for individuals who entered before they turned 16, if they entered before January 1, 2010, no matter how old they are now. The educational and other requirements remain the same.
Deferred Action has been expanded to parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanents, regardless of the children’s age. This program, called Deferred Action for Parents (DAP), is available to those who have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, pass background checks, and pay taxes.
The Executive Action will seek to reform the employment-based immigration process in a number of important respects. Certain foreign investors will be eligible for parole into the U.S. so they can enter while pursuing lawful permanent resident status. An expanded group, including entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, and founders will be eligible for national interest waivers.
Rule changes are being proposed to permit individuals with approved I-140 petitions whose priority dates are not current to preregister for adjustment of status so they can obtain work authorization and advance parole. Certain H-4 spouses will be eligible for work authorization.
There are other smaller changes that will result in new guidance concerning the standards for L-1B visas, job portability, OPT, and PERM.
The government will also expand the provisional waiver program to include spouses and children of lawful permanent residents as well as U.S. citizens. This will reduce the uncertainty in the visa and waiver process for those whose who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. and it will reduce wait times abroad.
These changes, both large and small, may apply to you or someone you know. It is important that you consult with me as soon as possible so we can review your eligibility for these new benefits and if you qualify, begin the process of applying for them.
Please call me at my office at (248) 643-0642 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can work to help you.