ICE Raids in the Bay Area. Calls for Congress to act on DREAMers rights. The Supreme Court declines to take on DACA. These are just a few headlines of late, as lives are put on hold and families wonder: “what will tomorrow look like for us?”
We do not hold all the answers to the multitude of questions you may have. What we offer you all with this article is, hopefully, a sense of calm in these uncertain times. If you or anyone you know is a non-citizen undocumented immigrant, or non-citizen lawful permanent resident, the following may apply to their situation. It is important to consult with an experienced and licensed immigration attorney who will be able to guide you through the options available to you under evolving U.S. immigration laws.
The following are still available to those who are eligible:
Application for Naturalization. We encourage lawful permanent residents (LPR) who are eligible to apply for Naturalization to do so without delay. If you have been a permanent resident for 5 years, or if you have been a permanent resident for 3 years, have been married for to a U.S. citizen spouse for those 3 years and continue to live in marital union with said U.S. citizen spouse, please consult with an immigration attorney regarding your eligibility to apply for naturalization.
RENEWAL of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) still available. Due to a Federal Court order, the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Until further notice, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms that were in place before the program was rescinded on September 5, 2017.
Individuals who were previously granted DACA may request renewal of their deferred action and their employment authorization with the appropriate fee or approved fee exemption request at the USCIS designated filing location, and in accordance with instructions in the Form I-821D and form I-765 applications.
USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never been granted deferred action under DACA. Moreover, USCIS will not accept or approve applications for Advance Parole request from DACA recipients.
If you are a previous recipient of a DACA grant and your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2017, you may still file your DACA renewal request.
Provisional Waiver of Unlawful Presence still available. The Provisional Waiver of Unlawful Presence was introduced in 2013. The Provisional Waiver waives the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are physically present in the United States, and the waiver is based on the extreme hardship the U.S. citizen spouse or parent will suffer if the waiver is not granted. Recently, the Provisional Waiver was expanded to include those who have approved family-based or employment-based immigration petitions, special immigrant petitions, or if they are beneficiaries of the diversity visa lottery. As well, legal permanent spouses or parents are now included as qualifying relatives for purposes of extreme hardship.
In other Immigration News:
Filing Fees Can Be Paid Via Credit Card. USCIS recently announced that it will accept credit cards as a form of payment for certain applications, such as Adjustment Applications. Previously, USCIS had begun to accept credit cards as a form of payment for Naturalization applications. However, Form I-821D (DACA Application) is not among those applications which can be paid via credit card.
Negative consequences of Criminal Convictions. It is and has always been the case that a negative criminal conviction will have serious consequences, the worst of which is deportability, for an individual who is not a U.S. citizen, even if s/he is a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). If you are a non-citizen and you are facing a possible criminal conviction, it is best to consult both with a criminal attorney and with an experienced criminal immigration attorney who handles deportation defense before pleading to anything in criminal court.
* * *
Atty. Lilli Berbano Baculi is an associate attorney with Chua Tinsay & Vega, A Professional Legal Corporation (CTV) – a full service law firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Philippines. The information presented in this article is for general information only and is not, nor intended to be, formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Call or e-mail CTV for an in-person or phone consultation to discuss your particular situation and/or how their services may be retained at (619) 955-6277; (415) 495-8088; (916) 449-3923; firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information visit www.chuatinsayvega.com.