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USCIS Alert in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Posted: November 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

From the USCIS:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers affected by Hurricane Sandy of certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief that may be available to them.

USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to maintain lawful immigration status or obtain certain other immigration benefits. Eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures, including:

  • A change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired; 
  • Extension or re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS; 
  • Expedited adjudication of off-campus employment authorization applications for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship; 
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications; and 
  • Assistance to Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when LPRs are stranded in places that do not have a local USCIS office. 

For more information, visit the USCIS website.

New Options for Children Who Age Out?

Posted: October 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Possible Expansion of Child Status Protection Act

Sarasota Immigration Attorney P. Christopher Jaensch

Sarasota Immigration Attorney P. Christopher Jaensch

It seems like recent court cases in California and Texas have expanded the applicability of the Child Status Protection Act.

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) addressed the large numbers of children who are “ageing out” – reaching the age of 21 before their parents received a green card.  CSPA protects the “child” status despite ageing out due to excessive processing times.  It can apply in certain family-based, employment-based and humanitarian immigrant cases.

Under the new rule, once the parent gets the green card, they can apply for the child as an adult unmarried child of a permanent resident.  Instead of getting a new priority date for this application (which would require a wait of about 2 years or more), they child would “inherit” the original priority date of the application.  This would mean that the child would most likely be eligible for a green card soon after the parent gets their green card and would not have an additional waiting period.  I would estimate that children who apply in this way would wait about a year after their parents receive their green card, because there still needs to be time allowed to file the green card application and conduct the background check.

Children of legal permanent residents (green card holders) can take advantage of this whether they are in the U.S. or out of the U.S.   If they are in the U.S., they would have to remain here in lawful status after they turn 21 (by having a F-1 student visa or E-2 investor visa).

This is good news because it means that children of green card holders would ultimately be able to get a green card around the time their parents get one.

Instructions for 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery

Posted: September 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Would You Like to Win the Visa Lottery?

The instructions for the 2014 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2014) reveal that this year, natives of Guatemala are eligible, while several other countries are ineligible. Entries for the DV-2014 program must be submitted electronically between 10/2/12 and 11/3/12.

Look for more information soon on and!

Supreme Court Rejects Retroactive Application of Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA)

Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A provision in the  Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 that stated that the law could be applied retroactively was rejected by the Supreme Court two days ago in their ruling on Vartelas v. Holder, No. 10-1211.  The provision stated that Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who entered a criminal plea could not be allowed back into the United States after traveling abroad.  This provision was being applied to Legal Permanent Residents who had entered criminal pleas before the law was in effect.  The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against this practice citing the “deeply rooted presumption” against applying new laws retroactively.

Here is a link to the Supreme Court decision.