Yesterday, I presented an immigration seminar at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Subjects of my discussion were Green Card eligibility, inadmissibility issues, waivers, and several special eligibility categories. Perhaps, my short outline would be helpful to recognize some elements that apply to you.
You May be Eligible for a Green Card based on Family Relationship as:
Green Card is always available for immediate relatives of USC. Other family members of USC and LRP must wait until immigrant visa is available for their preference category.
There are 5 preference categories:
You may be eligible for a green card as a member of a special category as a:
When applying for a green card:
What does it mean?
One of the most common grounds of inadmissibility - Unlawful Presence. It occurs either when a person enters the United States unlawfully or when a lawful status lapses.
There are 3/10 years Inadmissibility Bars:
You may be eligible to apply for a 601A Provisional Waiver of inadmissibility.
What does provisional mean?
Effective March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants can apply for provisional unlawful presence waiver. You may file Form I-601A before leaving the United States to appear at a U.S. Consulate for your immigrant visa interview.
RULE: You are inadmissible ONLY due to the unlawful presence
Immigrants with multiple grounds of inadmissibility to the U.S. CANNOT apply for the provisional waiver using Form I-601A and must instead apply for a waiver outside the U.S. using Form I-601.
When USCIS May Refer Your Case to ICE?
You may be worried that your personal information will be used by USCIS in order to place you into detention or in removal proceedings in Immigration Court if your application is denied. In most cases, this is improbable, but it is not impossible. If you were unlawfully present in the U.S., and have no other law violations, it is highly unlikely that the information you submit to USCIS will be used against you in this way.
Not likely to be referred, unless it involves an individual with a criminal history or fraud violations, or one who poses a threat to national security or public safety.
You should take an honest look at your situation to determine whether your background might raise flags and eventually cause you to be detained or deported. Have you ever provided false information on a government application? Do you have multiple criminal convictions or a history of gang association? Have you been a member of a group that has been linked to terrorist activities? If so, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise you before you submit your information to USCIS.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The 601A Waiver applies ONLY if you are a husband or a wife or a child of the USC.
Who is a qualifying relative?
You must establish that your USC spouse or USC parent would suffer “extreme hardship” if you are refused admission to the United States.
What is “extreme hardship”?
Examples: Relative’s major medical condition, alien’s country is in a state of active war or major political conflict, and other extreme situations.
Limitations of the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.
Does NOT provide any benefits such as employment authorization or advance parole.
Does NOT provide lawful status while pending or approved.
Does NOT stop the accrual of unlawful presence or provide protection from being removed or deported from the U.S.
Does NOT guarantee that the applicant will receive their immigrant visa. After the waiver is approved, the applicant proceeds with the immigrant visa process, attends the immigrant visa interview abroad and is issued an immigrant visa, unless US embassy discovers new evidence not previously disclosed.
If you entered The United States without inspection over 10 years ago, another strategy may be available for you - Cancellation of Removal. Generally, to be eligible for cancellation of removal:
The waiver process is complex, difficult and stressful, but it is a way to resolve a serious immigration problem when you don’t have a lot of other options. You should always review your situation with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise you on the best strategy in your individual case.
As I mentioned earlier, you may be eligible for a green card as a member of a special category, for example:
I-751, Self-Petition for a Permanent Green Card by a Spouse of a USC
Eligibility: You may file Form I-751 without your spouse if:
You entered the marriage in good faith, but:
I-360, Self-Petition under VAWA (Violence Against Women Act):
It applies to men also.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals):
Announced by President Obama on June 15th, 2012. DACA grants discretionary relief from deportation, issued for two years/with available extension every 2 years; no unlawful presence during deferred action period; it may be renewed, depending on who is the President and the current law; it may be revoked or terminated; it provides for legal work authorization in the US; it is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
What DACA does not do:
Not an amnesty for previous or later unlawful presence.
Not a path to permanent residency or US citizenship
Does not allow petitions for family members
Does not allow international travel, though you may apply for travel authorization if approved (exceptional circumstances)
U.S. immigration law and regulations significantly affect how foreign nationals may qualify for immigrant visas or waivers of inadmissibility. If there is a change in (presidential) administration, DACA may be illuminated and all DACA applicants can be deported from the United States.
If you have ever been arrested or convicted, it is in your best interests to have an immigration attorney review your criminal record before applying for DACA or any other immigrant benefits.Call or email me to schedule your consultation to review your eligibility for immigration benefits. Information you share with me is protected under attorney-client confidentiality privilege.I am an experienced immigration attorney on your side. If I determine that you qualify for an immigrant benefit. I will present a strong case on your behalf to the immigration agency requesting an approval of a benefit that you deserve.