Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

dac_stud_500The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security announced the DACA program on June 15, 2012. Deferred action is based on prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against a foreign national for a certain period of time. However it does not provide lawful status. This program (DACA) allows certain people who came to the United States as children and meet other requirements to request consideration of deferred action, which if approved is valid for a period of two years, and can be renewed. If approved the applicant receives work authorization for two years.


Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

wor_perA foreign country may be designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security due to the conditions in the country that temporarily prevent its nationals from returning safely, or if the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. During a designated period, individuals meet the requirements and become TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases are not removable from the United States, can obtain an employment authorization document, and may be granted travel authorization. If granted TPS, a foreign national also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States. However, TPS is only a temporary benefit and it does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status.


 

T Visas

The T-visa is a four-year visa that gives the beneficiary the right to live and work in the United States. T-visa holders are also eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card) after three years with the visa, or sooner if the related investigation or prosecution is complete.

In order to be eligible for a T-visa a foreign national must demonstrate that he or she is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons; is physically present in the U.S. due to such trafficking; and has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking related crimes; and he or she would suffer extreme hardship in the event of removal from the United States.


U Visas

The U nonimmigrant classification (U visa) is available to foreign nationals who are victims of certain criminal activities, including human trafficking, who help government officials in investigating or prosecuting the criminal activity. Like the T-visa, the U-Visa gives the beneficiary permission to work and live in the U.S. for four years.

In order to be eligible for a U-visa a foreign national must demonstrate that he or she has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of certain criminal activity; that he/she possesses information concerning such criminal activity; that he/she has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to Federal, State, or local authorities investigating or prosecuting the criminal activity; that the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States.

There is a wide range of qualifying crimes for the U Visa, therefore we highly recommend that a foreign national seek the help of an experienced immigration law attorney to assess which form of relief is best.



 

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

A foreign national may also be able to become a permanent resident (get a green card) through a special family situation. The most common of these adjustment of status programs is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). A foreign national may apply for protection and relief through this provision of the law if he or she is a battered (abused) spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen or in some cases the spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident. If they meet the requirements these foreign nationals may file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows the victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser.
The VAWA provisions, apply equally to women and men and are permanent.

If the self-petition is approved the foreign national is eligible to apply for work authorization and eventually he/she may also be eligible to file for adjustment of status in order to obtain legal permanent residence (green card).


Asylum Relief

There are two different types of Asylum processes, here we will discuss the most common which is Affirmative Asylum Processing. To obtain asylum through this process a foreign national must be physically present in the United States. He or she may apply for asylum status regardless of how they arrived and entered the United States or their current immigration status.

Most importantly the foreign national must apply for asylum within one year of the date of their last arrival in the United States, unless he/she can demonstrate changed circumstances that materially affect their eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances relating to the delay in filing; and he or she files within a reasonable amount of time given those circumstances.

As an applicant for Asylum the foreign national may live, and if he/she meets certain requirements, may also receive work authorization in the United States while the application is pending before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Phone: 404-400-1774
Fax: 470-443-1661
8302 Dunwoody Pl., Ste 220
Atlanta GA 30350
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