06 Sep 2017

Phase out of DACA and What this means for DREAMers and Employers

The Trump Administration announced on September 5, 2017, that it is terminating DACA. The program named Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has permitted people who were brought to the United States as children to remain here and receive employment authorization once they prove that they meet the minimum requirements for the program.

Requirements to be eligible for DACA include:

  • Entered the United States  to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time and did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012 without DHS authorization;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated, or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Being approved for DACA did not grant any legal status upon the applicant or his/her family. It merely “Deferred” the Government’s right to initiate Deportation/Removal proceedings against anyone covered by the program.

Phase Out of DACA

Pursuant to the decision announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Government has officially ended DACA, but enforcement has been delayed for six months.

  • As of September 05, 2017, the Government will not accept any new DACA applications;
  • DREAMers with current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that expires between today and March 08, 2017 MUST file to renew their DACA status before the end September 2017 (official deadline is Thursday, October 05, 2017, but we advice that you not leave this to the last minute)
  • DREAMers with currently valid EAD that expires after March 08, 2017 are not eligible to renew their status any longer

What This Means for DREAMers

  • If you have an EAD that expired between today and March 08, 2017, please make sure to renew your DACA before the end of September 2017.
  • Do not leave the United States under any circumstances as there is no guarantee that you will be able to return, even if you have received advance parole.
  • Do not loose hope! There are several bills pending in Congress and it is possible that a law legalizing/codifying DACA regulations will come into effect before March 2018

What This Means for Employers

Basically, employers may not terminate a DACA employee from employment solely on the expectation of future ineligibility to work. DREAMers with currently valid Employment Authorization are legally able to continue with their employment.

  • Current DACA recipients, as well as those eligible to apply by October 5, 2017, will be permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and, for DACA extensions, their EAD cards until they expire, unless terminated or revoked.
  • DACA beneficiaries must possess both a valid EAD as well as a Government issued Social Security Card
  • USCIS will process new DACA EAD applications received before September 5, 2017, but any employees who intend to file for DACA for the 1st time are no longer eligible to apply.
  • DACA and EAD renewal applications that were properly filed prior to September 5, 2017 will continue to be processed. Current processing time for final adjudication is an average of 4 months.
  • USCIS will process two-year DACA EAD renewal applications received by October 5, 2017 for individuals whose current DACA EAD expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.

As always, employers and DREAMers are encouraged to call us or contact us should you have any questions about this phase out.

 

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26 Oct 2016

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extended for Nepal till June 2018

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced yesterday that they would automatically extend TPS for Nepal through June 28, 2018

Re-Registering for TPS:

For those that already have TPS, you MUST re-apply between October 26, 2016 through December 27, 2016 to maintain status

If you are a TPS beneficiary under the Nepal designation and your EAD is based on your TPS status with an original expiration date of December 24, 2016, your EAD is covered by this automatic extension.

To prove that you are authorized to continue working legally, you may show the following documentation to your employer and government agencies:

  • Your TPS-related EAD with a December 24, 2016 expiration date; and
  • A copy of the Federal Register notice announcing the automatic extension.

Late Initial Filing for TPS
You can apply for TPS for the first time during an extension of your country’s TPS designation period. If you qualify to file your initial TPS application late, you must still independently meet all the TPS eligibility requirements listed in the Eligibility section for Nepal.

To qualify to file your initial TPS application late, you must meet at least one of the late initial filing conditions below:

  • During either the initial registration period of Nepal’s designation or during any subsequent initial registration period if Nepal was re-designated you met one of the following conditions, and you register while the condition still exists or within a 60-day period immediately following the expiration or termination of such condition
    • You were a non-immigrant, were granted voluntary departure status, or any relief from removal
    • You had an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal which was pending or subject to further review or appeal
    • You were a parolee or had a pending request for re-parole
    • You are a spouse of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS

OR

  • During either the initial registration period of  Nepal’s designation or during any subsequent initial registration period if Nepal was re-designated you were a child of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS. There is no time limitation on filing if you meet this condition. So if your parent is currently eligible for TPS and you were his or her child (unmarried and under 21 years old) at any time during a TPS initial registration period for Nepal, you may still be eligible for late initial filing even if you are now over 21 years old or married.  You may file during an extension of Nepal’s TPS designation time period.

Eligibility Criteria for Nepalese

In order to be eligible for TPS as a Nepali National, you MUST:

Continuous Physical Presence and Continuous Residence in the United States since June 24, 2015

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.

 

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