Following an Order from U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis, USCIS announced sweeping changes to the current state of DACA and its beneficiaries also known as “Dreamers.” As announced by USCIS on December 7, the changes include extending one-year grants of DACA to two-year periods, ending the one year grant rule completely and accepting advance parole documents for DACA recipients to allow them to travel abroad.
Further, the Order required, and USCIS will comply with, accepting new DACA applications for first-time applicants. Now, individuals who never had the opportunity to apply for DACA in the past, can now do so assuming they meet the following guidelines:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for DACA;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of certain crimes.
It is noted, while USCIS has made this announcement and will begin making these changes and accepting new applications, they may still appeal the Judge’s Order. Given this uncertainty, should you or someone you know meet these criteria, our attorneys are ready to assist.
USCIS EXTENDS CERTAIN TPS EXPIRATION DATES
Following several Court Orders, on December 7, the Department of Homeland Security made an announcement extending the validity of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for beneficiaries from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. TPS designations were set to expire, some as early as next month. Now, TPS beneficiaries from these nations are automatically extended until October 4, 2021; extending their status for nearly 10 more months.
Those in current TPS status may also request new employment authorization cards according to procedures set forth by USCIS while those who have failed to re-register properly for TPS during any re-registration period may still file an application. If you did not properly register, but wish to do so, you must demonstrate “good cause” for failing to re-register on time.
The announcement does not include other current TPS designated countries of Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and/or Yemen.
The extension of TPS not only provides beneficiaries employment authorization, protection from removal and authorized stay in the United States, it may also lead to permanent residency (green cards) in certain scenarios. If you have questions or wish to further explore your options, please contact the attorneys at Brown Immigration Law.