Monday, June 18, 2012



*Speak to an immigration attorney today to see if you are eligible for this type of relief from the government.* 

Although the DREAM ACT is dead, the Obama administration is trying to provide a short term relief to certain DREAM ACT eligible young people who were here before the age of 16 and have no criminal record.  Documentation of such presence in the United States, completion or current attendance in school and criminal records must be provided.

WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.

  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty.
  • Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. 
  • Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date. 
  • Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. 
  • DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.
While this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes within sixty days. In the meantime, individuals seeking more information on the new policy should visit USCIS’s website (at, ICE’s website (at, or DHS’s website (at Beginning Monday, individuals can also call USCIS’ hotline at 1-800-375-5283 or ICE’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 during business hours with questions or to request more information on the forthcoming process.
For individuals who are in removal proceedings and have already been identified as meeting the eligibility criteria and have been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE will immediately begin to offer them deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No More Waiting in Mexico for Mexican Immigrants Applying for I-601 Waiver

On January 6, 2012, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a notice of intent to change the procedure for I-601 waivers that currently require foreign nationals seeking an I-601 waiver to apply at the consulate and and wait in their home country. This caused many foreign nationals to separate from their families for up to a year while the waiver was being adjudicated.
USCIS stated "Currently, spouses and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens who have accrued a certain period of unlawful presence in the United States, and have to leave the country as part of the legal immigration process, are barred from returning to their families for as long as 3 or 10 years.  They can receive a waiver to allow them to return to their families by showing that their U.S. citizen family member would face extreme hardship as a result of the separation."
As a result, USCIS is proposing that the applicant be allowed to apply for the waiver while in the United States, thereby eliminating the need to wait outside the country while a decision is made on the waiver.
However, this rule is not yet in effect. IT WILL NOT BE IN EFFECT UNTIL 2013 and at first, it will only apply to MEXICAN NATIONALS. Also, the spouse or children of the United States citizen who are using this waiver for unlawful presence ONLY will be allowed to apply while still in the United States. If someone is applying for the waiver for some other reason besides unlawful presence, this change is law will not apply to them. 
USCIS stated "With the change outlined in the notice, individuals who currently qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility under the existing eligibility standards, and who can demonstrate that separation from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would cause extreme hardship to that relative, would be allowed to apply for a waiver while still in the U.S."

The notice can be found at:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Temporary Protected Status for Syrian Arab Republic

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a status that the United States Government allows people from certain counties to apply for while their home country (or country of residence) is too dangerous for them to return to or the country is unable to handle the return of its citizens. There are currently seven countries, listed below, that are designated TPS countries.  Syria was added to the list on March 23, 2012 due to the extraordinary violence that the government of Syria is inflicting on it's own people. The details of applying for such status are below in a press release from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Press Release and Designation of TPS for Syrian Nationals
On March 23, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced her intent to designate Syria for TPS for eighteen months
The TPS designation for Syria is effective today and will remain in effect through September 30, 2013. 
The designation means that eligible Syrian nationals will not be removed from the United States, and may request employment authorization. 
The 180-day TPS registration period begins today and ends on September 25, 2012.

TPS Eligible Countries
Currently there are seven countries that are eligible for TPS.
These are: 
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan 
  • Syria
This means that nationals from this country may not be deported back to their home country and may apply for work authorization while here in the United States.Contact a local immigration attorney for help and required deadlines to apply for such status if you or someone you know may be eligible for this type of status.

See:  for more information on the problems in Syria and for credit on the picture above.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the release of three new practice tests for English portion of the Naturalization Test. 

The US Naturalization test is made up of two parts: and English Exam and a Civics Exam. Not everyone applying for naturalization may have to take the English and Civics Exam. There are exceptions to the English portion of the exam. These include if you are :
over age 50 and have been a green card holder for 20 years 
over age 55 and have been a green card holder for 15 years.

You may not be required to take either exam is you hare physically or developmentally disabled. A form documenting these disabilities must be filed by your treating doctor.

Practice Tests for the English Portion of the Naturalization Test

The Office of Citizenship recently introduced three new practice tests to help permanent residents prepare for the naturalization interview. The first activity helps you with some general commands you may hear from an Immigration Services Officer during the naturalization interview. You can download self-study flash cards and review a practice exercise before taking the practice test called "Understanding Commands for the Naturalization Interview." There are two other activities that focus on vocabulary words that you may hear in your interview or read on the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400. You can find all three activities on the Study Materials for the English Test section of the Citizenship Resource Center.

For Educators: Classroom Materials for Teachers Accompany Practice Tests for Naturalization Preparation

To help students learn and practice commands that an applicant may hear during the naturalization interview, the Office of Citizenship has developed 8 ½" x 11" visuals and flash cards for teachers to accompany the practice test called "Understanding Commands for the Naturalization Interview." These materials include suggestions for using the visuals and flash cards for games and small-group activities in the classroom. A downloadable practice exercise is also available for students to read, listen, and review the sentences before taking the interactive practice test. The other two practice tests for students focus on vocabulary words that applicants may hear in their interview or read on the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400. These materials can be found on the Educational Products section of the Citizenship Resource Center.

Here is the link for the materials: