Articles Posted in Spouses of US Citizens

48554137807_fa4094864c_eA estas alturas ya habrás visto los titulares de las noticias. Ahora analicemos la nueva acción ejecutiva histórica del Presidente Biden sobre inmigración y vayamos al meollo de todo lo que necesitas saber sobre esta orden diseñada para mantener unidas a las familias y brindar más oportunidades a los Dreamers.


Proceso para Promover la Unidad y Estabilidad de las Familias– Legalización de cónyuges Indocumentados de Ciudadanos Estadounidenses


Hoy, 18 de junio de 2024, el Presidente Biden anunció un nuevo proceso que permitirá la protección y legalización de los cónyuges indocumentados de ciudadanos estadounidenses que hayan residido en los Estados Unidos durante al menos diez años a partir del 17 de junio de 2024.

En virtud de la autoridad ejecutiva del Presidente, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS), en coordinación con los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (USCIS), crearán un nuevo programa discrecional de “permanencia temporal” para que los cónyuges indocumentados de ciudadanos estadounidenses legalicen su estatus mientras permaneciendo en los Estados Unidos.

Aquellos que sean aprobados después de la evaluación caso por caso de su solicitud por parte del DHS tendrán un período de tres años para solicitar la residencia permanente. A los elegibles se les permitirá permanecer con sus familias en los Estados Unidos y ser elegibles para una autorización de trabajo por hasta tres años.

Las personas deben cumplir ciertos requisitos de elegibilidad para convertirse en residentes permanentes legales (titulares de tarjeta verde) bajo este nuevo proceso,

A continuación se encuentran respuestas a preguntas frecuentes sobre esta orden ejecutiva.


Q: ¿Cuáles son los requisitos para que los cónyuges sean elegibles para solicitar libertad condicional y legalizar su estatus en los Estados Unidos?


Para ser considerado caso por caso para una concesión discrecional de permiso de permanencia temporal en virtud de este proceso, una persona debe:

  • Estar presente en Estados Unidos sin admisión ni permiso de permanencia temporal;
  • Haber estado presente continuamente en Estados Unidos durante al menos 10 años a partir del 17 de junio de 2024; y
  • Tener un matrimonio legalmente válido con un ciudadano estadounidense a partir del 17 de junio de 2024
  • No tener antecedentes penales que lo descalifiquen o de otra manera constituir una amenaza a la seguridad nacional o la seguridad pública y
  • Merecer un ejercicio favorable de discreción para recibir permiso de permanencia temporal

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Source: Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Gage Skidmore

By now you’ve seen the headlines in the news. Now let us break down President Biden’s historic executive action on immigration and get to the nitty gritty of everything you need to know about this order designed to keep families together and provide further opportunities for Dreamers.


Process to Promote the Unity and Stability of Families – Legalization of Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens


Today, June 18, 2024, President Biden announced a new process that will allow for the legalization of undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens who have been residing in the United States for at least ten years as of June 17, 2024.

By virtue of the President’s executive authority, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will create a new discretionary “parole in place” program for undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens to legalize their status while remaining in the United States.

Those who are approved after DHS’s case-by-case assessment of their application will be afforded a three-year period to apply for permanent residency. They will be allowed to remain with their families in the United States and be eligible for work authorization for up to three years.

Individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders).

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding this executive order. 


What are the requirements for spouses to be eligible to apply for parole and legalize their status in the United States?


To be considered for a discretionary grant of parole in place under this process, spouses of U.S. Citizens must:

  • Be present in the United States without admission or parole;
  • Have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024; and
  • Have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024
  • Have no disqualifying criminal history or otherwise constitute a threat to national security or public safety and
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion to receive parole

Are Noncitizen Children of Undocumented Spouses eligible for parole?


Yes. In addition to undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens, their noncitizen children may also be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis under this process along with their parent, if they are:

  • Physically present in the United States without admission or parole and
  • Have a qualifying stepchild relationship with a U.S. citizen parent as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act as of June 17, 2024

To qualify as a stepchild under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the noncitizen child must be unmarried, under the age of 21, and the marriage of their noncitizen parent and U.S. citizen stepparent must have taken place prior to the child’s 18th birthday.


How is this new parole program different from the current laws in place?


This new “parole in place” program will eliminate the need for spouses of U.S. Citizens to travel outside of the United States to legalize their status through what is known as an extreme hardship “waiver” process.

The “waiver” process is an extremely cumbersome and lengthy process that requires the undocumented spouse to depart the United States and be interviewed and approved for an immigrant visa overseas. Only once the visa is issued can the applicant return to the United States.

This process has unnecessarily torn families apart and created much fear and uncertainty among applicants forced to remain away from their families for prolonged periods of time. Many applicants are the sole providers for their families and take care of children with disabilities, making this process extremely difficult to bear.

This executive action will instead open a pathway to permanent residence by allowing eligible undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens to adjust their status to permanent residence while in the United States, without requiring them to depart the country.

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The world of immigration has been shaken up by new reports that the Biden administration intends to release a groundbreaking executive action on immigration. The President’s order could soon allow spouses of U.S. Citizens to legalize their status in the United States.

According to government officials speaking on condition of anonymity, full details of the executive action are expected to be released as early as Tuesday – the twelfth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If passed, it would be one of the largest immigration relief proposals in recent history.

Essentially, a plan has been in the works to create a program known as “Parole in Place” that would offer work permits and deportation protections to undocumented immigrants married to U.S. Citizens, so long as they have lived in the United States for at least 10 years.

Such a program would eliminate the need for spouses of U.S. Citizens to travel outside of the United States to legalize their status through an extreme hardship “waiver” process, that has posed obstacles for many to become legalized.

Instead, the program would open a pathway to permanent residence for spouses of U.S. Citizens to adjust their status to permanent residence from the United States, without having to depart the country.

If passed, the White House’s measure could benefit more than 1.1 million undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens, if they can meet the eligibility requirements.

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If you are a family-based conditional permanent resident who was issued a two-year green card based on your marriage to a U.S. Citizen, then you may be interested to know that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its policy guidance for Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence.

The new policy guidance provides new updates for the following individuals:

  • Conditional permanent residents who filed an I-751 petition jointly with their spouse, but are no longer married since their filing (either because of divorce or abuse)
  • Cases where the I-751 petition is being terminated for failure to file the application on time with USCIS or lack of evidence.

Overview


By law, your permanent resident status is conditional if you were married to a U.S. Citizen for less than 2 years on the day you obtained permanent resident status.

This means that at the end of your I-485 adjustment of status (green card) application process, you will receive conditional permanent residence (a 2-year green card) if you were married for less than 2 years at the time of the adjudication of your I-485 adjustment of status application. On the other hand, those who have been married for more than 2 years receive a 10-year green card that is not subject to conditions.

To remove the conditions on permanent resident status, conditional permanent residents must file Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence within the 90-day period before the expiration of their green card status. The I-751 petition must be filed jointly with your U.S. citizen spouse, or you must qualify for a waiver of the joint filing requirement if you are no longer married.

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It’s a brand-new week full of important updates from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This time for employment authorization documents (EADs).

Recently, USCIS announced that certain applicants who have filed to renew their employment authorization cards (EADs) on Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, may qualify for an automatic extension of their expiring employment authorization and/or employment authorization documents (EADs) while their renewal applications are pending with USCIS.

Beginning October 27, 2023, those who are eligible will receive 180-day automatic extensions of their EADs, including those who have applied for or have received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or asylum.

Previously, USCIS had passed a regulation that increased the automatic extension period for certain EAD applicants from 180 days to 540 days. This announcement will not impact EADs that were already issued for up to the 540-day period. Those extensions will remain in place. For such individuals, the increased automatic extension will end when they receive a final decision on their renewal application or when the “up to 540-day period” expires (counted from the expiration date of the employment authorization and/or their EAD), whichever comes earlier.

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A new family reunification parole process has been launched, this time for qualifying nationals of Ecuador.

Who is eligible?


Nationals of Ecuador petitioned by family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and who have received approval on Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to join their family in the United States may participate in this new parole process.

Parole will allow such nationals and their immediate family members to be admitted to the United States lawfully for a period of up to three years, while waiting to apply to become lawful permanent residents.

Qualifying beneficiaries must be outside the United States, must not have already received an immigrant visa, and meet all other requirements, such as screening, vetting, and medical requirements.


How does the family reunification process work?


The Family Reunification Parole process is initiated when the Department of State sends an invitation by mail or e-mail to the petitioning U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member whose Form I-130 is already approved. The petitioner is the person who has filed the Form I-130 petition with USCIS on behalf of the foreign national.

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It’s official. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will be increasing the validity period of work permits also known as Employment Authorization Documents (EADS) to 5 years, for certain categories of noncitizens who are employment authorized incident to their immigration status and those who must apply for employment authorization including:

  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Noncitizens paroled as Refugees
  • Noncitizens granted Withholding of Removal
  • Noncitizens with pending applications for Asylum or Withholding of Removal
  • Noncitizens with pending applications for Adjustment of Status (green cards) under INA 245
  • Noncitizens seeking Suspension of Deportation or Cancellation of Removal

Additionally, USCIS has released policy guidance clarifying that the Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) may be used as evidence of an alien’s status and employment authorization for certain EAD categories that are employment authorized incident to their immigration status or parole.

These changes can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual, and are also described in USCIS Policy Alert 2023-27 dated September 27, 2023.


What’s changed?


Previously, USCIS policy allowed for a maximum 2-year validity period of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for most categories of immigrants indicated above, and a maximum 1-year validity period for noncitizens paroled as refugees and those seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.

USCIS is now revising its guidelines to increase the maximum EAD validity period for these categories up to 5 years.

The purpose of increasing the validity period is to reduce the frequency in which noncitizens must file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization to renew their work permits (EADs).

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In this blog post, we summarize the movement of the family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories of the October Visa Bulletin.

This information will be helpful to those applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate overseas, and those applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States.


Overview


What is the Visa Bulletin?


The Department of State releases the visa bulletin on a monthly basis, which summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers for that particular month in the employment and family preference categories. The purpose of the visa bulletin is to inform immigrants who are subject to the numerical quota system of when they are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status application. Applicants can determine their place in line by looking at the priority date on their underlying immigrant petition. Applicants with a priority date that is “current” on the Visa Bulletin can move forward with the immigration process, because that means a visa number is available to them.


What are the preference categories that are subject to the numerical limitations?


The Family Sponsored Preference Categories and their annual limits are as follows:

First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

  1. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
  2. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

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If you have been waiting for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to reopen in-person appointments, then this topic may interest you.

Recently, USCIS announced the launch of a new procedure to request an in-person appointment at a local USCIS field office by completing an online form. This form may be used by individuals, attorneys, and accredited representatives without the need to call the USCIS Contact Center.

The online appointment request form is currently available for use on the USCIS webpage and allows for in-person appointment requests at local field offices, only for ADIT stamps, Emergency Advance Parole (EAP), Immigration Judge Grants, Afghan Special Immigrant CPR Status, Certified Copies of Naturalization Certificate, Deferred Action, T, U, and VAWA Inquiries, I-94 Cuban Paroles and Re-Paroles, Lost Immigration Visa Packets, and more.

For more information about ADIT stamps, Emergency Advance Parole, and Immigration Judge Grants, etc. click here.

The online request system does not support self-scheduling, but individuals are allowed to request a specific date and time for an in-person appointment when making an online request. However, please keep in mind that USCIS cannot guarantee that the requested appointment date will be scheduled.

Once an online appointment request has been made, the USCIS Contact Center will review submissions along with the availability of in-person appointments at a specific field office. USCIS will then confirm and schedule the individual for an available in-person appointment date and time.

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We start the week with great news for Cuban and Haitian nationals.

On August 10, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced new publications in the Federal Register introducing changes to the Cuban and Haitian Family Reunification Parole processes.

The FRP program allows eligible Cuban and Haitian nationals to seek parole into the United States for the purpose of reuniting with their family members while they wait for their immigrant visas to become available to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.