President Obama closed off the year by announcing his highly anticipated executive action on November 20, 2014 which will go into effect early this year, but the executive action was only one of many important initiatives that occurred in 2014.
2014 was a big year for immigrants for several reasons:
- AB 60 California Driver’s License Applicants: Beginning January 01, 2015 undocumented immigrants can start the process of obtaining their driver’s licenses under AB 60 at their local DMV field office
- Executive Action: Beginning February 2015, eligible applicants can apply for the expanded DACA program which shields undocumented individuals from deportation who were brought to the United States illegally as children, our office will be providing you with further updates early this year
- Beginning May 2015 eligible parents of U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents can apply for deferred action thereby protecting them for deportation and allowing millions of parents to be eligible for employment authorization
- As a part of President Obama’s differed action, only those undocumented individuals with criminal history will be prioritized for deportation. Those who do not pose a significant threat to national security and who do not have criminal antecedents, will not be prioritized for deportation. The new policy will also prioritize deportation for recent arrivals.
- Additionally, President Obama’s executive order will do away with the Security Communities Program, established initially as a watchdog program to facilitate the apprehension of undocumented individuals accused of localized crime to federal immigration officials. The program will be replaced by the priority enforcement program discussed earlier.
- Parole Authority for Inventors, Researchers, and Start-Up Founders: On November 20, 2014 USDHS released a policy memorandum announcing that eligible inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises who do not qualify for a national interest waiver can attain parole authority under section 212(d)(5) of the INA,6 on a case-by-case basis
- The apprehension of unaccompanied minors along the South Western border was a topic of much contention, bilateral talks and initiatives between the United States and Mexico resulted in the decline of migration of unaccompanied minors
- Changes announced for Mexican E Visa Investors: Currently all E visa adjudications in Mexico are now being processed via three posts in Mexico DF, Monterrey, and Tijuana
- H1B Petitions for Nursing Occupations: On July 11, 2014 USCIS released new guidance on adjudication of H-1B petitions for nursing occupations. This new guidance supersedes the previous USCIS Memorandum of Johnny Williams, INS Office of Field Operations, Guidance on Adjudication of H-1B Petitions filed on Behalf of Nurses, HQISD 70/6.2.8-P (November 27, 2002). Generally advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) positions qualify for H-1B
- Regarding the above: Positions that do not normally require a U.S. Bachelor’s or a higher degree in nursing as the minimum requirement for entry into the particular positions, DO NOT qualify for H-1B
- On August 23rd, USDHS announced that for the first time since the creation of the EB-5 category, the EB-5 preference category would become unavailable to Chinese applicants for the 2014 fiscal year
Our office will be providing you with further updates as they become available. For questions and legal advice please call us for a consultation. Our office hopes your new year is off to a great start.