DACA & Student Visas

DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

#DACA was slated to end on March 5, 2018 but the U.S. District Court recently issued an injunction to prevent #DACA termination.  Nearly 700,000 young immigrants who have no legal status in the U.S. benefit from #DACA and have valid employment cards so they can work and attend college.  All DACA recipients have no criminal history and are law abiding young immigrants who entered the U.S. under the age of 15.

The Trump administration announced on September 5, 2017 the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that was initiated by President Obama. The Trump administration has indicated a willingness to provide some protection to young immigrants but in exchange he wants to end #ChainMigration (or legal family immigration filed for brother/sister, parents and children over age 21).  To date, no legislation has been introduced or passed extending DACA or ending chain migration.

However, as of January 13, 2018, due to a U.S. District Court decision, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (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and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.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 with the appropriate fee or approved fee exemption request.  USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never 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.

So, the state of #DACA or employment authorization granted to young illegal immigrants is still uncertain as it is now tied up in U.S. District Court of Appeal.  At the end of the day, there needs to be a permanent solution of benefit granted to young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors by no fault of their own.  Additionally, the issue of 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. also needs to be addressed to grant them legal status and not mass deportation.

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STUDENT VISAS:

F-1

The F-1 Visa (student visas) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students. F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions.

J-1

The J-1 classification (exchange visitors) is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.
In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department of State designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. J-1 nonimmigrants are therefore sponsored by an exchange program that is designated as such by the U.S. Department of State. These programs are designed to promote the interchange or persons, knowledge, and skills, in the fields of education, arts, and science.

M-1

The M-1 visa (vocational student) category includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training.