DACA Recipients Can Renew Work Permit

Jan. 13, 2018, Update:  Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA.  Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017. 

Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA may request renewal by filing Form I-821D (PDF)Form I-765 (PDF), and Form I-765 Worksheet (PDF), with the appropriate fee or approved fee exemption request, at the USCIS designated filing location, and in accordance with the instructions to the Form I-821D (PDF) and Form I-765 (PDF).  USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.  USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients. 

If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request.  Please list the date your prior DACA ended in the appropriate box on Part 1 of the Form I-821D.

If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal (because renewal requests typically must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred action approved under DACA), but may nonetheless file a new initial DACA request in accordance with the Form I-821D and Form I-765 instructions. To assist USCIS with reviewing your DACA request for acceptance, if you are filing a new initial DACA request because your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or because it was terminated at any time, please list the date your prior DACA expired or was terminated on Part 1 of the Form I-821D, if available.

Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.  Further, deferred action under DACA does not confer legal status upon an individual and may be terminated at any time, with or without a Notice of Intent to Terminate, at DHS’s discretion.  DACA requests will be adjudicated under the guidelines set forth in the June 15, 2012 DACA memo (PDF) (more…)

Trump is a racist

Why should the U.S. welcome #immigrants from “shithole countries” like Haiti and Africa and not from countries like Norway – this is the question #Trump asked lawmakers at the White House. #GailLaw responds we are a nation that welcomes the world’s wretched refuse, a nation built by #immigrants, a nation whose very motto is “E Pluribus Unum” — Out of Many, One.  (more…)

Trump Administration Says Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave U.S.

Nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador will have to leave the United States after living here for more than a decade, the Trump administration announced on January 8, 2018. U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials said that they were ending a humanitarian program, known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), for Salvadorans who have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States since a pair of devastating earthquakes struck their country in 2001.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador will end on September 9, 2019. Salvadorans were the largest group of foreigners benefiting from temporary protected status, which shielded them from deportation if they had arrived in the United States illegally. The decision came just weeks after more than 45,000 Haitians lost TPS granted after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and it suggested that others in the program, namely Hondurans, may soon lose them as well. Nicaraguans lost their protections last year.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

FREE phone & in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2018, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba

Due to staff reductions at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, USCIS will temporarily suspend operations at its field office in Havana, effective immediately. During this time, the USCIS field office in Mexico City, Mexico, will assume Havana’s jurisdiction, which includes only Cuba.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

FREE phone & in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2018, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

TPS for Nicaragua Terminates 1/5/19 and TPS for Honduras extended to 7/5/2018

Madison, WI, USA- February 18, 2016 – group of people protesting new Wisconsin immigration laws

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaragua with a delayed effective date of 12 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on January 5, 2019. She also determined that additional information is necessary regarding the TPS designation for Honduras, and therefore has made no determination regarding Honduras at this time. As a result of the inability to make a determination, the TPSdesignation for Honduras will be automatically extended for six months from the current January 5, 2018 date of expiration to the new expiration date of July 5, 2018.

The decision to terminate TPS for Nicaragua was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s original 1999 designation were based and whether those substantial but temporary conditions prevented Nicaragua from adequately handling the return of their nationals, as required by statute. There was also no request made by the Nicaraguan government to extend the current TPS status. Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Acting Secretary Duke determined that those substantial but temporary conditions caused in Nicaragua by Hurricane Mitch no longer exist, and thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.

To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Nicaragua will be delayed 12 months. This will provide time for individuals with TPS to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible, or, if necessary, arrange for their departure. It will also provide time for Nicaragua to prepare for the return and reintegration of their citizens. TPS for Nicaragua will terminate on January 5, 2019. (more…)

Lottery for Green Card open from October 18, 2017 – November 22, 2017

United States VISA in a european passport with stamps.

The visa lottery program will be accepting applications for the 2019 Diversity Visa Lottery program from October 18, 2017 to November 22, 2017.  Each year, the Diversity Visa Lottery program makes 50,000 permanent resident visas available to people from eligible countries.

The Department of State chooses the winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery program randomly through a computer-generated lottery drawing.  Anyone selected under the Diversity Visa Lottery program will be notified directly by the U.S. Department of State through the mail.  Applicants can check the status of their application to see if they are a winner by visiting www.dvlottery.state.gov.  If the winner is granted permanent residency, s/he will be authorized to live and work in the United States along with their spouse and children under age 21.  There are four basic entry requirements for the lottery for green card.

Native of Eligible Country: Applicants must be a native of an eligible country.  Natives from the following countries are NOT ELIGIBLE to apply because they sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States during the past five (5) years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

If you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible but your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, you can claim your spouse’s country of birth—provided that both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas, and enter the United States simultaneously. Second, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of your parents was born there or resided there at the time of your birth, you may claim nativity in one of your parents’ countries of birth if it is a country whose natives qualify.

Education or Work Experience: Applicants must have (more…)

Worried About Trump Immigration Policies? Contact Our Office For Help

Stories and headlines about President Trump’s immigration policies are striking fear into the hearts of many – immigrants or not. For non-U.S. natives, even those who are in the country legally, are afraid. They are afraid of harsher treatment, more questioning, and losing their livelihoods – to name just a few fears.

If you are at all concerned about your status and eligibility to remain in the United States, we urge you to contact our office right away. A discussion with our Orlando immigration attorney can set your mind at ease and help you clearly identify any steps you need to take to protect yourself and your family in this new reality of Trump immigration policy.

Options For Remaining in the U.S.

Your options for remaining in the U.S. depend on your specific situation. Depending on your age, work status, and marital status you may be able to remain in the U.S. if you meet certain conditions.

  • Obtain Employment Authorization Document.
  • Become a U.S. Citizen through Naturalization.
  • Become a citizen through your parents.
  • Ensure your Green Card is current or apply for a Green Card.
  • Have a U.S. citizen relative, spouse, or fiancé(e) petition on your behalf.
  • Determine if you are eligible for work or educational visas.
  • Determine your eligibility for DACA.
  • Remove your conditional status.
  • Extend your non-immigrant stay or employment based stay.
  • Determine if you qualify for protected status or asylum.

There are requirements that must be met for all of these options. It is vitally important that you consult an immigration lawyer for help deciding which course of action to pursue.

Consult Orlando Immigration Attorney Gail Seeram For Advice As Soon As Possible

If you are concerned about your immigration status contact Orlando immigration attorney, Gail Seeram right away. Early intervention is the best way to review your option and develop a strategy for securing your ability to remain in the U.S. legally.

You do not want to wait to speak with an immigration attorney until ICE knocks on your door!

Contact The Law Offices of Gail Seeram at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.

How to check processing time for an immigration filing?

Since the Trump administration, we have seen longer backlogs and numerous errors in processing immigration petitions filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Every year USCIS adjudicates approximately 6 million petitions and applications for immigration benefits, such as naturalization applications, adjustment-of-status applications, change-of-status applications, and employment authorization petitions and applications.

There are a few ways to check on processing time of a pending immigration filing:

1 – Check processing time at a field office or service center – CLICK HERE

2 – Check visa availability for a Form I-130 (family-based) or I-140 (employment-based) filed and pending – CLICK HERE

3 – Check the status of a petition filed with USCIS based on receipt number – CLICK HERE

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security New Social Media Screening for Immigration Benefit

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement pilot program for Social Media Screening for Immigration Benefit, which began last August, uses social media screening in the visa issuance process and beyond. While the inspector general report was redacted, it revealed that the agency is using a “web search tool that specializes in social media data exploitation by analyzing social media data and funneling it into actionable information,” to “help identify potential derogatory information not found in government databases.”

The report redacts the duration of Social Media Screening for Immigration Benefit, but it is clear the test program involved more than a one-time check of public-facing social media posts.

The Citizenship and Immigration Service’s social media screening for Immigration Benefit was launched in April 2016. Under that pilot, USCIS screeners requested social media information from visa applicants, then checked the information against a tool developed by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. USCIS concluded that the tool afforded a low “match confidence,” and that manual screening delivered better results. The IG report redacts data on the number of accounts USCIS was able to confirm using the DARPA tool, and the number it was not able to confirm.

Our recommendation is for anyone seeking an immigration benefit in the U.S. (whether non-immigrant or immigrant) to disable to close all social media accounts.   (more…)

Urge Congress to Extend Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Nationals

The Trump administration is considering ending Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals, rather than extending the program. Immigration Lawyer Gail S. Seeram has expressed grave concerns regarding this prospect. Not only would the elimination of TPS or Temporary Protected Status for Haiti nationals create immense hardships for close to 47,000 Haitian individuals who have lived in the United States under the program’s protection for more than seven years, it would also adversely impact the U.S. economy and workforce. Show Congress that AILA stands with Haitians by tweeting out your support and by asking members of Congress to urge DHS Secretary Kelly to re-designate TPS for Haiti.

Haiti continues to struggle and Haitian in the U.S. meet the criteria to continue receiving TPA protection.  The Haitian government is unable to meet the basic needs of its people, (more…)