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EXECUTIVE ACTION – IMMIGRATION REFORM

On November 20th, 2014, President Obama announced his plan to reform our Immigration System. President Obama will sign a series of Executive Actions that will go into effect in the upcoming months. The USCIS and other agencies are then responsible for implementing these Executive Actions. Some actions may take few months while others may take a longer time.

Below is a general overview of what the President and the Immigration Services intends to do in the upcoming months.

NOTE: THE EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ANNOUNCED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA HAVE NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED. PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANY IMMIGRATION SCAMS. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE GIVE US A CALL AT 212-461-1467 OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.SHANKARLAW.COM.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Who is eligible?

This will affect current DACA holders and new applicants. In addition, individuals who are born before June 15th, 1981 will also be able to apply for DACA, provided they meet all other guidelines.

What are the Requirements / What will this do?

This program will extend the employment authorization to three years from the current two years.

The individual must have resided continuously in the United States on or before January 1, 2010 and meet all the other requirements for DACA. The previous requirement was that the individual must reside in the United States since June 15, 2007. The requirement has thus been reduced to make more individuals eligible under this program.

When will this go into effect?

Approximately 90 days from November 20, 2014

Deferred Action for Parents of US Citizens and Permanent Residents

Who is eligible?

People who are undocumented, living in the United States, on or before November 20th, 2014, and are parent(s) of a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident.

What are the Requirements / What will this do?

– Have continuous residence in the US since January 1, 2010.

– Are the parent(s) of a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and

– Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.

When will this go into effect?

Approximately 180 days after November 20, 2014

NOTE: USCIS will consider each request on a case-by-case basis. Enforcement priorities include, but not limited to, national security and public safety threats.

Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence

Who is eligible?

People who are undocumented, resided unlawfully in the United States for at least 180 days and who are:

– The sons and daughters of US Citizens; and/or

– The spouse and sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents.

What are the Requirements / What will this do?

This expands the provisional waiver program announced in 2013 by allowing the spouses, sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available. There may be instances when the qualifying relative is not the petitioner. In addition, this clarifies the meaning of the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain a waiver.

When will this go into effect?

The USCIS currently does not provide a time when this will be implemented. All that the USCIS states is that this will go into effect upon issuing of new guidelines and regulations.

NOTE: Currently, only spouses and minor children of US Citizens are allowed to apply to obtain a provisional waiver if a visa is available.

Modernize, Improve and Clarify Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Programs to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs

Who is eligible?

U.S. Businesses, Foreign Investors, Researchers, Inventors and Skilled Foreign Workers

What are the Requirements / What will this do?

USCIS will:

– Work with the Department of State (DOS) to develop a method immigrant visas that all immigrant visas are issued to eligible individuals.

– Provide clarity on adjustment portability. Meaning they will try to remove unnecessary restrictions and try to provide relief to workers facing lengthy adjustment delays.

– Clarify the standard for a national interest wavier to foreign investors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises.

– Authorize parole to to eligible inventors, researchers and founders of start-up enterprises who may not yet qualify for a national interest waiver, but who:

o Have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing; or

o Otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research.

– Try to provide work authorizations to spouses of certain H-1B visas

– Try and expand and extend the use of OPT for foreign students.

– Provide guidance to “specialized knowledge” to help bring clarity to L-1B programs.

When will this go into effect?

The USCIS currently does not provide a time when this will be implemented. All that the USCIS states is that this will go into effect upon issuing of new guidelines and regulations.

Promote the Naturalization Process

Who is eligible?

Lawful permanent residents eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship.

What are the Requirements / What will this do?

This will:

– Promote citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents.

– Allow naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay for application fees.

– Assess potential for partial fee waivers in the next biennial fee study.

When will this go into effect?

The USCIS states that this will go into effect sometime during 2015.

If you want more information or if you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 212-461-1467.

Disclaimer:

All comments and/or opinions are for general and educational purposes only, and should not be used as legal advice. In addition any comments and/or opinions do not create an attorney-client relationship. In order to obtain a comprehensive and accurate legal opinion you should consult an attorney with the specific and detailed facts or your case/question.