DACA Renewals Have Restarted
Do Not Miss Your Chance to Regain Benefits—Speak with an Immigration Attorney
UPDATE: On January 9 and February 13, 2018, federal courts issued an injunction against the President's decision to end DACA. This means eligible immigrants may apply for renewal of DACA benefits! While Congress has yet to pass a permanent solution, this temporary relief allows hundreds of thousands of people to regain work authorization and protection from deportation.
On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be ending. This impacts almost 800,000 young people who entered the U.S. before age 16 who had temporary protection from deportation and work authorization. Thankfully, the courts have issued an injunction preventing the end of DACA for the time being. While no new applications may be filed, current or former DACA recipients may apply for renewal as of January 9, 2018.
To qualify for DACA, an applicant has to meet the following requirements:
- Be under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012
- Have first come to the US prior to their 16th birthdays
- Have lived in the US since June 15, 2007
- Be physically present in the US on June 15, 2012 and on the date of the application
- Not be in lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012
- Be currently studying or have graduated from high school, earned a GED or have an honorable discharge from the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard
- Have not be convicted of a felony or DUI, or convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” or 3 or more misdemeanors of any kind.
While Congress may still pass a permanent protection for Dreamers, here is what you need to know right now:
- If you do not have DACA, you cannot apply. The program has been terminated and new applications are no longer being accepted by USCIS.
- If you had DACA and a work permit that expired after September 5, 2016, you can apply for a 2-year renewal. If your DACA benefits expired before September 5, 2016, you may not reapply. Your application will be rejected by UCSIS.
- If you have DACA that expires after March 5, 2018, you are now eligible for a future extension and your DACA, work authorization, and protection from deportation will expire on the date shown on your DACA approval notice and work permit.
- If you have a new DACA application that was received by USCIS on or before September 5, 2017, or an extension application received on or before October 5th, 2017 your application will continue to be processed.
- If you have DACA and a valid Advance Parole Travel document you may still use the document to travel and return to the U.S. if you return before the document expires. However, even with a valid travel document, CBP can still refuse to let you in. Before you travel, speak to a qualified immigration lawyer in New Jersey.
- If you have an Advance Parole Travel document application pending, USCIS will no longer process or approve applications for advance parole for DACA recipients. They will close the application and return the filing fees to you.
- Even with valid DACA and a valid work permit, the government can terminate your DACA and work permit at any time if it believes you are no longer eligible or for any other reason.
The most common reason for termination is a conviction for a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors. A felony is a crime that’s punishable by more than a year in jail; a significant misdemeanor is a crime for which the maximum term is a year or less but greater than five days; or regardless of the sentence imposed, is an offense of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or, driving under the influence.
If not an offense listed above, a significant misdemeanor is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. The sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence.
Other Things You Need to Remember
- Do Not Talk to a Notario! Notarios are not lawyers and are not trained to fully understand the complex U.S. immigration system. Some notarios will take your money and give you bad advice. Protect yourself and your family by trusting a qualified immigration attorney in New Jersey with your legal decisions.
- Don’t Give Up! We stand with Dreamers and we are fighting for you. Congress can pass a bill to offer a permanent way for those with DACA to stay in the United States. Tell Congress to stand up for Dreamers! Contact your Congressman tell them how to stand up for Dreamers!
- You Could Have Other Options! You may be eligible for another type of status. Up to 30% of people screened for DACA were eligible for something better and more permanent.
For example, if a DACA holder obtains advance parole, travels and is admitted to the US that admission would be considered a lawful entry. Thereafter, if the DACA holder married a US Citizen or has a child over the age of 21 they can immediately apply for a green card from within the US.
If a DACA holder entered the US legally and married a US Citizen, they can immediately apply for a green card from within the US. DACA holders who entered illegally and married US Citizen can apply for a provisional waiver. if approved, they can travel and receive a green card from a consulate abroad.
Should I Have a Lawyer Review My Immigration Status?
If you are unsure about your current status, you must speak to a New Jersey immigration lawyer. Only an immigration lawyer can give you legal advice.
Call our immigration law office today and schedule an initial consultation. During this time, we will review your complete immigration history along with the immigration status of your family to determine if there is another path available to legalize your status.
Get Immigration Assistance from Our Team
Practicing since 1987, my firm has the resources, knowledge, and skills necessary to achieve your goals. We have helped over 10,000 immigrants with their immigration matters. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality legal services, and we promise to immediately begin working on your case to achieve those goals. We will always respond to your questions or concerns. In addition, we will keep you informed and educated about the process every step of the way. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Call (800) 909-8129 or use our short online form to schedule a time to speak with the firm today.
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Q:I live in the US and I am marrying a US citizen. How can I get a green card and become a permanent resident?
A:Assuming you have entered the US with a visa or are protected by an old law called 245i, you may be eligible to adjust status to receive a green card from within the US. If you have been illegally present for more than 6 months, you cannot travel until the green card is in hand. Current processing time is about 5-7 months.
Q:I am a fiancé(e) of a US citizen and I am living outside the US. How can I enter the US to marry?
A:Your fiancée must apply for a Fiancée Visa, also known as the K-1 Visa. The visa is for parties who have physically met within the past two years, have an intent to marry, and can document a relationship together. The visa is only for those who are residing abroad and cannot be used if the alien is in the US. The application is filed from within the US and when approved, will be forwarded to the American Consular where the alien fiancée will apply for the visa and be interviewed by an officer - usually about 8-12 months from the date of filing.
Q:I live outside the US and I married a US citizen. How can I come to the US to live?
A:To enter the US after a marriage to a US Citizen, you would go through Consular Processing. Paperwork would be filed in the US and forwarded to the embassy abroad to schedule an interview. The processing time frame from start to finish is between 9-11 months, depending on the embassy abroad. The process is document-intensive and requires careful attention to detail.