Month: August 2015

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TPS Extended for Haiti

The Department of Homeland Security extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals for 18 months, beginning January 23, 2016 and lasting through July 22, 2017. Haitian nationals who are current beneficiaries of TPS must re-register their TPS status during a 60 day re-registration period that will run from August 25, 2015 until October 26, 2015. Re-registering will enable TPS beneficiaries to apply for a new employment authorization document.

TPS may be granted to foreign nationals who are present in the United States when disaster hits their home country or when conditions in their home country prevent safe return. TPS is granted for temporary conditions such as civil war and/or armed conflict and environmental disasters.

While a foreign national holds TPS, he or she:

  • may not be removed from the United States;
  • may apply for employment authorization; and
  • may be granted travel authorization.

TPS is a temporary grant of lawful immigration status in the United States that does not lead to citizenship, permanent residence, or any other immigration status.

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I-601A Stateside Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers Seeking to be Expanded

The I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Wavier allows certain immediate relatives of United States citizens to ask that the inadmissibility ground of unlawful presence be forgiven before the applicant departs the United States for consular processing.  Having the I-601A waiver approved before the applicant departs the United States spares the applicant from spending months or even years outside the country while their waiver is adjudicated.

In order to qualify for an I-601A waiver, an applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition for an immediate relative and must demonstrate that the applicant’s United States citizen spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if the applicant is refused admission to the United States, among other eligibility requirements.

The expansion announced for I-601A waivers would expand the I-601A waiver process to allow lawful permanent residents to serve as the qualifying relative, instead of only United States citizens.  This expansion greatly increases the number of potential applicants who could qualify for an I-601A waiver.

Importantly, this expansion is still in the law-making process and is not yet final.  The I-601A expansion is currently open for notice and comment until September 21, 2015.  After this date, submitted comments will be considered and the proposed expansion may become law.

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin No Comments

Court Invalidates STEM OPT Extension

The D.C. District Court has held that the 17 month extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 graduates in a STEM occupation is invalid.  The court has vacated the rule that allows the 17 month extension, effective February 12, 2016.  At this time STEM graduates with post-completion OPT remain able to apply for the 17th month extension.  We will post further updates as they become available.

 

 

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