All cases are different. Your case may have similarities with some of the facts and law set out on this website. However, there may be details that make your case require more in depth review by an attorney. The information on this website is for public educational use only and not intended to be a substitute for a legal consultation. Please consult an immigration lawyer before taking action on your case.
LATEST NEWS: PROVISIONAL UNLAWFUL PRESENCE WAIVERS!!
On March 4, 2013 USCIS changed the rules for certain immigrant visa applicants who are the spouses, children and parents of US citizens (“immediate relatives”) and have entered the United States without documents can apply for a waiver of unlawful presence through a new, Stateside “Provisional Waiver” process. Applicants who would qualify for a “green card” except for the fact that they entered the U.S. undocumented need a waiver of Unlawful Presence to get their green cards.
Under the old rules when a US citizen wanted file for a spouse, parent or child had to file for the “green card” before filing for the waiver. The applicant would go to his “green card” interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country he came from that was responsible for processing family based immigration visas. For Mexico the consulate was Ciudad Juarez. The applicant would have his interview for the green card and if he was found to be eligible for the green card except for his unlawful presence another appointment would be sent for the applicant to present his waiver application. It would often take up to a year and a half for a decision to be made on the waiver application. If the waiver was approved the applicant would get a stamp in the passport to enter the United States. The applicant would get the plastic green card a short time later. If the waiver was not approved the applicant would have to wait for up to ten (10) years to be allowed back into the United States. Needless to say this caused incredible hardship on the applicant’s families.
The new provisional waiver process allows these applicants to apply for the unlawful presence waiver while still in the United States and before departing for their immigrant visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. If the waiver is approved the applicant still has to travel to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to be interviewed for his green card.
Applicants who are not immediate relatives of US citizens such as brothers or sisters or are spouses or children of Lawful Permanent Residents still have to process their waiver of unlawful presence and their green cards at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
At the present time I am doing a free consultation up to a maximum of one hour for people interested in learning more about the new system and to determine if the applicant qualifies for the under the new waiver system. If you are a U.S citizen and your spouse, parent or child who is between 18 and 21 is undocumented please contact me at (805) 844-9343 or by the form. Prices will be quoted at the end of the consultation.
What Does Obama’s Directive on “Deferred Action” Mean for Me?
President Obama’s June 15, 2012 directive grants “deferred action” status to prevent eligible young people from being deported. However, getting deferred action does not mean you can get a green card or citizenship.
Eligibility Criteria: You CAN qualify for deferred action if you: Consult with an attorney if you:
• Are between 15 and 30 years old;
• Came to the United States before you were 16 years old;
• Have been living in the United States continuously since at least June 15, 2007;
• Were present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
• Are currently in school, graduated from high school, received a GED, graduated
with an associates or bachelor’s degree, or are a honorably discharged veteran of the
Coast Guard or Armed forces; and Have passed a background check.
But wait! You may not be eligible if you have serious immigration violations:
• Have been convicted of a felony, a crime that can be punished by more than 1 year in jail.
• Have been convicted of a significant misdemeanor, a crime that includes violence, threats, or assault including
domestic violence and sexual abuse; burglary, larceny or fraud; DUI; escaping arrest; unlawful gun possession or use; or
drug distribution or possession.
• Have been convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors, minor offenses.
• Pose a threat to national security or publicsafety.
Deferred action prevents you from being deported and allows you to apply for a work permit.
Depending on where you live, eligible students can also apply for a driver’s license and a social security number.
LIMITS & RISKS
Deferred action is not a path to a green card nor is it a path to citizenship. In order to create a path to citizenship, Congress has to pass the DREAM Act, pending legislation that would apply to immigrant youth who came to the U.S. as children, or some form of immigration reform.
Deferred action is available for two years. At the end of the two years, you must apply for renewal of your application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Even if you meet the eligibility criteria, deferred action is not guaranteed and can be terminated at any time.
There is no appeals process. If you apply and do not meet basic eligibility requirements or have serious immigration violations, the government may initiate removal proceedings.
START GATHERING DOCUMENTS
If you think you are eligible, start gathering documents that prove (1) your identity andage, (2) you entered the U.S. before age 16,
(3) you have continuously lived in the U.S. for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and (4) you were physically present in the
U.S. on June 15, 2012.
You may also want to gather documents that highlight factors in your favor, e.g.community ties, activities, awards.
BEWARE of any potential scams and fraud!
FAMILY MEMBERS of eligible young people are NOT eligible for deferred action unless the family members meet the eligibility
Documents to start gathering for your application and/or consultation with an attorney may include:
ı Passport from your country of origin
ı Birth certificate
ı Travel documents
ı Financial records
ı Bank statements
ı Utility bills
ı School records
ı Diplomas, GED certificates
ı Report cards & transcripts
ı Medical records
ı Military records (personnel, health)
ı Copies of criminal records or court
dispositions on any criminal arrests
ı Community support letters