Rescission of DACA
President Trump rescinded DACA today with a six month wind down. Here’s what will happen to DACA holders and applicants based on its rescission memorandum:
New DACA Requests
- USCIS will continue to adjudicate properly filed initial DACA requests, and two year EAD work permits will be given to those that are approved.
- No more initial requests will be accepted beginning today 9/5/2017.
- USCIS will continue to adjudicate properly filed DACA renewals, and two year EAD work permits will be given to those that are approved.
- No more renewal requests will be accepted beginning today 9/5/2017.
- DACA holders will not have their deferred action status nor their work permits terminated, but they will not be able to renew.
Advance Parole travel
- The government will not approve any new requests for I-131 advance parole (AP) travel. It will refund fees for DACA related pending I-131 applications.
- The government will “generally honor” previously approved AP.*
* USCIS retains authority to revoke or terminate AP at any time. Speak with an attorney before leaving the U.S.
Can I travel abroad while my N-400 naturalization application is pending?
Travel outside of the U.S. is generally acceptable while a naturalization application is pending. Leaving the U.S. does not trigger abandonment of the N-400 and your application will continue processing during your travels. However, there are a few implications to consider before you book your trip:
Can I modify my oath based on religion when I become a US Citizen? I do not believe in bearing arms.
Yes, you are allowed to modify parts of your oath of allegiance based on your sincere, meaningful, and deeply held religious principles against bearing arms or serving in non-combatant military services. Modifying the naturalization oath is a serious decision allowed in some situations. Make sure you fully understand, or talk with an attorney about the oath and your reasons for requesting a modification before making your final decision:
President Trump’s executive order on immigration barred citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the US for at least 90 days. Yesterday, 01/29/2017, the US Department of Homeland Security released a statement that the executive order does not apply to the entry of lawful permanent residents (US green card holders).
Most immigration attorneys are still not recommending that citizens of the seven listed countries travel outside the US at this time, even in light of this recent statement. See Sound Immigration’s Post for more details.
Canadian visitors to the US do not need a visa, and generally are lawfully admitted to the US for six months. However, recently, some Canadian visitors have been have been learning that US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) authorized one of their previous trips for a shorter period than expected. This can cause problems with unintentional overstay.
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017! A new year is a time for goals and resolutions, which may include applying for US citizenship, renewing a green card, or meeting with an attorney to discuss available immigration paths.
Applicants should be aware that USCIS is beginning the new year with recently updated fees and forms for almost all immigration cases.
Asylum applicants, applying affirmatively with USCIS can wait years for their applications to process. During this wait time, an applicant can apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), also called a work permit using form I-765. In general, applicants can apply for the EAD once their affirmative asylum application has been pending with USCIS for at least 150 days. Although there is no fee to apply for the initial work permit, almost all applicants need to apply for at least one more work permit, and subsequent EAD applications do require a fee.
Although the processing time for work permits is supposed to be 90 days, USCIS sometimes processes outside of the 90 days. This can be difficult and frustrating for an applicant who may be required to stop working while awaiting their EAD renewal.
USCIS has put in place a new 2 year EAD that should help with some of these frustrations. Effective October 5, 2016, USCIS increased the validity period for both initial and renewal work permits to two years. The change applies to all I-765 applications with category (c)(8) that are pending on October 5th, or submitted on or after this date.
USCIS released a message earlier this month stating that eligible students can apply for naturalization in the state where they attend school, or in the state where their family lives as reflected in the USCIS Policy Manual.
Who is eligible?
* Students 18 years of age or older who are applying for naturalization
* who attend educational institution in a different state from where their family lives
* and who are unmarried and financially dependent on their parents.
How does this benefit students?
Eligible students may apply for US Citizenship in the state where they attend school, rather than applying from their parent’s home state. This is helpful since the naturalization process takes months, and requires a biometrics appointment at the local USCIS office. Students who apply from the city where their University is located will not need to travel to their parents state to be fingerprinted, and to be interviewed by USCIS.
Q: I’m a Canadian citizen married to a US citizen and I’ve never applied for adjustment of status or green card. Can I bypass the green card and apply for citizenship since I’ve been married and living in the USA for 5 years?
A: No, based on what you’ve described, you are not eligible to apply for citizenship. I think you may be confusing several regulations and procedures. A permanent resident (green card holder) is eligible to apply for citizenship after holding permanent resident (green card) status for about 3 years if she or he is married to a US citizen. However, since you do not have a green card, you would not be eligible to apply for citizenship. You’d need the green card (permanent resident status) first.
The US Supreme Court’s decision on United States v. Texas is expected very soon. There are two main initiatives in dispute in this lawsuit regarding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration:
Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), and
Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA expansion)
What is the Court considering?
The Court is considering several main issues:
- Do states have standing to bring this lawsuit?
- Do expanded DACA and DAPA violate federal law or procedures with these initiatives?
- Do DAPA and expanded DACA violate the constitution?