11-2/2015  There are basically NINE ways that you can get a visa to live and work in the US:

This is NOT a legal advice and change without notice

(1) Marriage (or engagement in anticipation of marriage) to a US citizen.

(2) You have skills that are in short supply in the US e.g. scientific or medical training. A degree is normally a must. Or you have superior specialist skills with at least 12 years experience. (H visas)

(3) You have an Employer who is willing to transfer you – but even the employer has to make a good case for you – so you have to be a manager unless you fall under category (2) above.(L visas)

(4) You may get a Green card in the diversity lottery (UK citizens, except N.Ireland, are not generally eligible unless you, your spouse or parents were born abroad or held a different citizenship.

(5)You own or buy business (does not get you permanent resident status i.e. no green card)You must be a national of a qualifying Treaty countries. The business must have a minimum value of around $150k (more the better) bearing in mind you will need somewhere to live and with any startup business you will need at least 2 years living money as back up. So a figure of $350k would be a nearer minimum (E-2 visas)

(6)You are an “investor” i.e. you have at least US $1m in assets to bring with you. half of that in a few areas. And your background will be investigated to the hilt. (EB-5 visas)

(7)You have a close relative (mother, father, brother, sister and no further) who is an US citizen who would sponsor you, approx time this take 2-12 years?

(8.The R1 visa is available to foreign members of religious denominations, having bona fide non-profit religious organizations in the U.S., for entering the U.S. to carry on the activities of a minister or religious worker as a profession, occupation or vocation

(9)THE UNUSUAL You are in a position to claim refugee status/political asylum. or You get a member of Congress to sponsor a private bill with legislation that applies just to you.

The S visa issued to persons who assist US law enforcement to investigate and prosecute crimes and terrorist activities such as money laundering and organized crime


USCIS also reported that the vast majority of those issued 3-year EAD’s (about 108,000 individuals) do not have to return their 3-year EADs as they were issued and mailed prior to the February injunction.  Nonetheless, it is highly advised that those who have received letters requesting the return of their 3-year EADs, and those who may suspect that their 3-year EAD may fall within the post-February injunction timeframe, should confirm whether they need to return their 3-year EAD by calling 1-800-375-5283, option 8; or by visiting a USCIS field office.  USCIS has already mailed replacement 2-year EADs, but one should not wait to receive a 2-year EAD before returning an improperly issued 3-year EAD.

Those who fail to return their improperly issued 3-year EADs by July 30, 2015, will have their deferred action status and work permit terminated on July 31, 2015.  Furthermore, failure to return the 3-year EAD may be considered a negative factor in future immigration petitions.

USCIS has put together a fact sheet, which is available here: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Humanitarian/Deferred%20Action%20for%20Childhood%20Arrivals/3yr-EAD-fact-sheet.pdf

6-15-15  Don’t Let Your Work Permit Expire; Follow These DACA Renewal Tips

Some people wait too long to request DACA renewal or do not correctly submit all the required forms and fees. As a result, their Employment Authorization Documents may expire before USCIS can finish processing their requests for DACA renewal.

You can lessen the chance that this may happen if you:

  • File on time. Submit your renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date listed on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document.
  • Correctly submit all required forms and fees. USCIS will reject your renewal request unless you properly submit:
  • Avoid processing delays. Be sure to submit:
    • Any new documents and information related to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted to USCIS in a previously approved DACA request,
    • Proof of advance parole if you have traveled outside the United States since you filed your last DACA request that was approved; and
    • Proof of any legal name change.
  • Respond to Requests for Evidence. USCIS may deny your renewal request if you do not respond to a Request for Evidence in a timely manner.

For complete instructions, go to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) page.

Since March 27, 2015, USCIS has been mailing renewal reminder notices to DACA recipients 180 days before the expiration date of their current period of deferred action. Previously, these reminder notices were mailed 100 days in advance. The earlier notices are intended to ensure that DACA recipients are reminded before the start of the recommended renewal period and have sufficient time to prepare their renewal requests.

USCIS’ current goal is to process DACA renewal requests within 120 days. You may submit an inquiry about the status of your renewal request after it has been pending more than 105 days. To submit an inquiry online, please visit egov.uscis.gov/e-request, or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833)

3-27-15 AB 60 California Driver’s License Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an AB 60 driver’s license?
Governor Brown signed AB 60 into law in 2013, directing the DMV to issue a driver’s license to any California resident who is eligible for a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status. This means that an applicant who is undocumented can receive a driver’s license under AB 60. An AB 60 license is valid for driving and for state ID purposes, but it is not a federal ID and cannot be used for certain federal purposes, such as boarding an airplane or entering restricted parts of federal buildings.
AB 60 represents an enormous victory for the immigrant communities, and for the state as a whole. Now immigrant parents can get driver’s licenses so that they can lawfully drive their children, many of them U.S. citizens, to school and to the doctor. This law is also a big win for public safety because in order to get a license, applicants will need to show proof of insurance as well as to pass a written test on driving, an actual driving test, and a vision test.

2. Are AB 60 licenses available now?
AB 60 driver’s licenses are available now, as of January 2, 2015.

3. Many of my undocumented clients are asking me if they should apply for a driver’s license.  Should they?
Applying for a driver’s license is a great idea for the vast majority of undocumented immigrants living in California. An AB 60 license will protect immigrants from getting cited for driving without a license (which can be a criminal offense) and from getting their car impounded simply on the basis of not having a license.

Nevertheless, for clients who have certain prior criminal convictions or immigration violations, there may be some risk. The DMV may share information with law enforcement or immigration authorities if ICE requests information on the person. This means that if ICE is already looking for a person, and asks DMV for information about that person, the DMV might share information about that person. Most people who are under investigation by ICE will be people who have criminal records which ICE considers serious or recent orders of deportation.

4. My client is in removal proceedings, so ICE already knows about her. She has no criminal record and a strong immigration case. Will the fact that she is in removal proceedings affect her ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place her at risk?
Immigration history is not a factor in eligibility for an AB 60 license. The information that the DMV could share with ICE includes a person’s name, address, and photograph. Because this person is already in removal proceedings, and assuming ICE already knows this person’s name, address, and what she looks like, there does not seem to be any risk to her immigration situation in applying for an AB 60 license.

5. My client previously applied for and got a driver’s license in California using a fake social security number. Will this affect her ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place her at risk if she applies?
Although many people were forced into situations such as these in order to drive to take care of their children or make ends meet, it can be very risky for people in this situation to apply for a license. The DMV has said that it will not refer cases for criminal prosecution where the person used a fake number only to obtain a driver’s license. However, if there are any indications that the person used the fake social security number for nefarious purposes, such as evading child support, identity theft, or fraud, that person may be at risk of being referred for criminal prosecution. Even if the person made up the social security number, the person could be suspected of identity theft if the number ended up belonging to another person. We are still learning how the DMV is handling cases like this, and the current advice is still not to apply if you used false information in a prior driver’s license application until we know much more.

6. I have clients who previously applied for and got a driver’s license in California using family members’ social security numbers. Will this affect their ability to apply for an AB 60 license or place them at risk if they apply?
Using someone else’s social security number could be seen as fraud or identity theft, so I suggest waiting to apply until we know more about how these cases are being handled.

7. My client is currently undocumented but has an application pending with the government for a green card. Should she apply for an AB 60 license now or wait until she gets lawful status?
This is up to the client, but applying for an AB 60 license now will not affect her immigration application and will not prevent her from getting a regular driver’s license in the future. If she applies for an AB 60 license now, she can transfer it to a regular driver’s license once she gains lawful status.

8. I have many clients who are eligible for an AB 60 license and may also be eligible for deferred action based on President Obama’s executive action. Should they apply for a license now or wait until they get deferred action?
This decision is also up to the client. However, the new deferred action programs have not begun yet. Once they do begin, it will still take at least a year before the applications are approved. So if I were eligible for an AB 60 license, I would probably apply for it now to be able to drive lawfully while I wait for the deferred action process.

9. Does AB 60 contain protections from discrimination?
The law prohibits state or local government agencies, officials, or programs that receive state funds from discriminating against someone because he or she has an AB 60 license. This includes state and local law enforcement officials. AB 60 itself also specifies that it is against the law to discriminate against an individual who has an AB 60 driver’s license.

11-25-14 What is the new DAPA program?

The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) is a prosecutorial discretion program administered by USCIS that provides temporary relief from deportation (called deferred action) and work authorization to unauthorized parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). The DAPA program resembles the DACA program in some important respects, but the eligibility criteria are distinct.

The program will be open to individuals who:

  • have a U.S. citizen or LPR son or daughter as of November 20, 2014;
  • have continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 2010;
  • are physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of applying;
  • have no lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014;
  • are not an enforcement priority, which is defined to include individuals with a wide range of criminal convictions (including certain misdemeanors), those suspected of gang involvement and terrorism, recent unlawful entrants, and certain other immigration law violators
  • present no other factors that would render a grant of deferred action inappropriate; and
  • pass a background check.

DAPA grants will last for three years. The DAPA program should be ready to receive applications within 180 days.

11-21-14 The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions


Based on a briefing on 11/20/14 by the White House, the following is a summary of the elements expected to be part of the Administration’s announcement of executive actions on immigration. Our understanding is that details (and memos) are still being worked on at this time. Many items are still unclear, and the merits of many may not be known until the details are known. Some will require regulations, but others can be done by memo.

Here are the principal components as we currently understand them:

Enforcement Priorities. Many of the existing memos on enforcement priorities and prosecutorial discretion will be replaced by a new memo that will name three enforcement priorities, which will be operational immediately:

    1. Suspected terrorists, convicted felons (including aggravated felonies), convicted gang members, and people apprehended on the border;
    2. People convicted of serious or multiple misdemeanors, and very recent entrants (i.e., those who entered after 1/1/14);
    3. Those who, after 1/1/14, failed to leave under a removal order or returned after

The memo will contain “strong language” on using prosecutorial discretion appropriately. While most other memos on the subject will be rescinded, the victims of crime memo and the USCIS memo on issuance of NTAs will stand.

Border Security. The Secretary of DHS will announce a South Border “command and control” campaign to coordinate and better use resources at the

State and Local. Secure Communities will be discontinued and replaced by a Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). What it means that Secure Communities will be discontinued is Unclear if they will stop fingerprinting people and unplug the technology and interoperability of the federal and local databases. Detainers will be discontinued for all except national security cases. Instead of detainers, there will be a request for notification when a law enforcement entity is about to release a convicted criminal.

Nothing on family detention will be included in this

No changes to Operation Streamline which targets immigration entry and reentry for federal

Two deferred action initiatives that combined are estimated to benefit 4 million:

Deferred Action for Parents (DAP). Parents of S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since 1/1/10, and who pass background checks and pay taxes, will be eligible to apply for deferred action, which will be granted for a 3-year period. The plan is to stand this up within 180 days (for applications to be accepted). Note that parents of DACA recipients are not eligible.

Expansion of DACA. DACA will be revised to get rid of the age cap, and to change the date that continuous presence must have started to 1/1/10. It also will be granted for 3 years (including those with pending renewal applications). Ready in 90

Pending Proceedings. There will be a review of cases currently under proceedings to see who is prima facie eligible for the relief stated in this program, and those cases will be closed.

Immigration Court Reforms. There will be a package of immigration court reforms that will include qualification of accredited representatives and ineffective assistance of counsel

U/T Visas. Three more types of offenses will be added to the list of offenses for which DOL can certify for U No specifics were available regarding which offenses will be added. T visa eligibility may also come into play with respect to DOL.

Worksite Enforcement. DOL will coordinate with other agencies regarding worksite enforcement

Foreign Entrepreneurs. Certain investors will be able to be paroled into the S., or be granted parole in place if already in the United States, for job creation (no further details at this time). This will be done by regulation. Also, entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, and founders will be eligible for national interest waivers. This will be implemented through policy guidance.

Timing of Filing for Adjustment of Status. The ability of individuals with an approved employment-based immigrant petition who are caught in the quota backlogs to file for adjustment of status will be advanced to permit them to obtain the benefits of a pending This is expected to impact about 410,000 people. This will be done by regulation.

AC21. “Same or similar” will be

L-1B. The guidance will be

H-4 EADs. The regulation will be finalized, probably in December or Jan.

OPT. The length of time in OPT for STEM graduates will be expanded and the relationship between the student and the school will be strengthened for this Other changes, such as allowing STEM OPT post-master’s degree where only the first degree is in a STEM field is under consideration. This will be done by regulation.

PERM. A full rulemaking will be undertaken to modernize the PERM

I-601a Waivers. The provisional waiver will be expanded to include spouses and children of The definition of extreme hardship will be expanded and clarified.

Advance Parole. There will be a new advance parole memo that will address the issues raised in Matter of Arrabally-Yerrabelly and make clear that CBP should honor the advance paroles issued by

Parole in Place. PIP will be expanded to include families of individuals trying to enlist in the armed forces.

Visa Modernization. There will be a Presidential Memorandum directing the agencies to look at modernizing the visa system, with a view to making optimal use of the numbers of visa available under Issues such as whether derivatives should be counted and whether past unused visa numbers can be recaptured will be included in this effort.
Integration. A second Presidential Memorandum will set up a Task Force on New
Proposition 47 passed - non violent felonies to reduce to misdemeanors 11-9-14
Californians passed #Proposition47  that allows individuals who were convicted of non violent felonies to reduce their cases to misdemeanors.  This has a significant implication in Immigration matters since many of the felonies convictions limit immigration options severely.
Here is a list of what #CaliforniaPEnalCode  felonies can now be reduced to misdemeanors. (list is subject to change without notice).PC 459/460(b)
PC 460(b)
PC 470
PC 470(a)
PC 470(b)
PC 470(c)
PC 470(d)
PC 470a
PC 470b
PC 471
PC 471.5
PC 472
PC 473
PC 475
PC 476
PC 476a
PC 484e
PC 484f
PC 484g
PC 484h
PC 484i(b)
PC 484.1
PC 484/487
PC 484/487(a)
PC 487
PC 487(a)
PC 487(b)
PC 487(b)(1)
PC 487(b)(1)(A)
PC 487(b)(1)(B)
PC 487(b)(1)(B)(2)
PC 487(c)
PC 487(d)
PC 487a
PC 487b
PC 487d
PC 487i
PC 490.2
PC 496
PC 496(a)
PC 666
HS 11350
HS 11357(a)
HS 11357
HS 11377

DHS To Implement Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program

Release Date: October 17, 2014

WASHINGTON—Starting in early 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin implementation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program to expedite family reunification for certain eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and to promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti to the United States.

Under this program U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will offer certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of already approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, who are currently in Haiti, an opportunity to come to the United States up to approximately two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.

“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States.  The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification.  It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally immigrate sooner to the United States,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.  “The United States strongly discourages individuals in Haiti from undertaking life-threatening and illegal maritime journeys to the United States. Such individuals will not qualify for the HFRP program and if located at sea may be returned to Haiti.”

Legal authority for the HFRP program is provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act which authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to parole into the United States certain individuals, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.  This is the same legal authority used to establish the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program in 2007.

USCIS is not currently accepting HFRP program applications, and potential beneficiaries should not take any action at this time.  USCIS will provide full program details before the end of this calendar year and stakeholder engagements will take place shortly thereafter. In early 2015, the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) will begin contacting certain U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with approved petitions for Haitian family members, offer them the opportunity to apply to the program, and provide instructions on how to apply. Only individuals who receive a written notice of program eligibility from NVC will be eligible to apply.

Under the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program, Haitians authorized parole will be allowed to enter the United States and apply for work permits but will not receive permanent resident status any earlier.

Military Path Opened for Young Immigrants 9/26/2014

A small number of young immigrants who grew up in the United States without legal status will be allowed to join the military and have a fast-track pathway to citizenship, Pentagon officials announced Thursday, the first time those young people have been able to enlist.

Undocumented young people who have been granted deportation deferrals by the Obama administration will be eligible to apply for the military under a recruitment program for immigrants with special language and medical skills, according to a memo issued Thursday by Jessica L. Wright, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

But administration officials emphasized that the number who would succeed in enlisting would be very small, probably not more than a few dozen. The requirements are stringent and the program is currently limited to 1,500 recruits each year, and already has a huge backlog of applicants.

Advocates for the young people, who call themselves Dreamers, have been pressing the administration to allow all of them with deferrals to enlist, and they were both heartened and sharply disappointed by the Pentagon decision.

“This is a first step, and we commend the administration for recognizing the skills and talents a lot of us do have,” said Cesar Vargas, a leader of the Dream Action Coalition, who has said he would like to join the military. “But it definitely needs to be expanded.”

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, who has urged President Obama to allow far broader enlistment of young people with deferrals, called the decision a “missed opportunity.”

Last spring Pentagon officials were considering whether to open recruitment to the young people with deferrals under a two-year-old program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The deferrals do not confer any resident status, but they do allow the young people to remain in the country legally. More than 580,000 young people have received them.

The White House instructed military officials to hold off, saying the president was waiting to see if House Republicans would move forward on immigration overhaul legislation.

That legislation died over the summer, and the president is now weighing executive action he could take to halt deportations for more immigrants who are here illegally. But administration officials said the Pentagon’s decision was separate from the president’s deliberations and was not a preview of the measures he might take, which he has said will come after the November midterm elections.

Pentagon officials said they acted to change the recruitment rules because the immigrant program, known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, or Mavni, was set to expire next Wednesday. It was renewed on Thursday for two years.

The Pentagon program was created for temporary immigrants who speak one of about three dozen languages including Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Pashto, Nepalese, Russian, Uzbek and Swahili — but not Spanish, the language of the majority of the undocumented young people. It also accepts licensed doctors and dentists in certain specialties. Immigrants must pass rigorous security checks to be accepted.

Those who enter the program can apply for citizenship within months after they enlist.

In general, immigrants must be legal permanent residents or American citizens to be eligible to enlist.

Jeh C. Johnson, who is now secretary of Homeland Security, made a determination in 2012 when he was legal counsel at the Pentagon that it would be problematic to expand the immigrant recruitment program to large numbers of young people with deferrals. Now, in his new role, Mr. Johnson is charged with figuring out how the president can offer deportation protections to many more illegal immigrants, including perhaps expanding military enlistment for Dreamers.

Secretary Johnson Announces Process for DACA Renewal (6/5/2014)

USCIS to Publish New Form to Allow Individuals to Renew Their Deferred Action
Release Date: June 05, 2014

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has submitted to the Federal Register an updated form to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA, to renew their deferral for a period of two years. At the direction of the Secretary, effective immediately, USCIS will begin accepting renewal requests. USCIS will also continue to accept requests for DACA from individuals who have not previously sought to access the program.  As of April 2014, more than 560,000 individuals have received DACA.

“Despite the acrimony and partisanship that now exists in Washington, almost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws, and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers,” said Secretary Johnson. “By the renewal of DACA, we act in accord with our values and the code of this great Nation. But, the larger task of comprehensive immigration reform still lies ahead.”

The first DACA approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and employment authorization, individuals must file renewal requests before the expiration of their current period of DACA. USCIS encourages requestors to submit their renewal request approximately 120 days (four months) before their current period of deferred action expires.

DACA is a discretionary determination to defer removal action against an individual. Individuals in DACA will be able to remain in the United States and apply for employment authorization for a period of two years. Individuals who have not requested DACA previously, but meet the criteria established, may also request deferral for the first time. It is important to note that individuals who have not continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, are ineligible for DACA.

Individuals may request DACA renewal if they continue to meet the initial criteria and these additional guidelines:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

The renewal process begins by filing the new version of Form I-821D “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Form I-765 “Application for Employment Authorization,” and the I-765 Worksheet. There is a filing and biometrics (fingerprints and photo) fee associated with Form I-765 totaling $465. As with an initial request, USCIS will conduct a background check when processing DACA renewals.

ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance (2/21/2014)

This notice contains renewal information only for those individuals granted DACA by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from June 15, 2012 until August 15, 2012, when USCIS started receiving requests.  Our records indicate that this notice only applies to a small fraction of the DACA population.  This notice does not apply to any individuals who received deferred action by making a request to USCIS using Form I-821D on or after August 15, 2012.  In the coming months, USCIS will issue guidance about the renewal process for this group.

RE:  Form I-797C, Notice of Action

Case Type: Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

We wish to inform you of your opportunity to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Our records indicate that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deferred action under the DACA process in your case.  If you wish to renew your deferred action for another two year period, you must submit Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  This form must be completed, properly signed and accompanied by a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (along with the accompanying filing fees for that form, totaling $465), and Form I-765WS.

If your previous period of deferred action expires before you receive a renewal of deferred action under DACA, you will accrue unlawful presence and will not be authorized to work for any time between the periods of deferred action.  For this reason, USCIS encourages you to submit your request for renewal 120 days before your current period of deferred action under DACA expires.

An individual whose case was initially deferred under DACA by ICE may be considered for Renewal of DACA from USCIS if he or she:

  • Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday and established residence at that time;
  • Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012 without advance parole.
  • Was present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making his or her request;
  • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or his or her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • Has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from a high school, has obtained a general educational development certificate, ¬†is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; or was in school at the time he or she requested DACA from ICE and: 1) has successfully completed an education, literacy, or career training program (including vocational training) and obtained employment, ¬†2) is currently enrolled in high school, postsecondary school or a new/different education, literacy or career training program, or 3) has made substantial, measurable progress toward completing an education, literacy, or career training program and,
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Retaining priority date for a F-2A age out child.   USCIS Policy Memo PM-602-0094 (11/21/2013)

The USCIS memo implements a BIA case, Matter of Wang, which held that derivative beneficiaries in the F-2A category automatically convert to the F-2B category upon turning 21.  When their priority date becomes current, and assuming they are eligible to adjust status, their petitioner does not need to file a separate I-130 petition in their behalf.  The beneficiary can file directly for adjustment of status.  Their priority date will be the one that was obtained when the petitioner filed the I-130 on behalf of the spouse/parent.  Alternatively, the petitioner can file a separate I-130 petition for the son or daughter in the F-2B category and retain the original priority date, assuming the child aged out of derivative status before the principal beneficiary immigrated. For other derivatives who age out in the F-3 or F-4 categories, the agency will not allow for retention of the original priority date when the principal beneficiary immigrates and files a separate petition in the F-2B category for the aged-out derivative child.  The ability of the petitioner in that scenario to retain the original priority date is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

PIP for Military spouses and children. USCIS Policy Memo PM-602-0091 (11/15/2013)

Parole of Spouses, Children and Parents of Active Duty Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, and Former Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and the Effect of Parole on Inadmissibility under Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a)(6)(A)(i).  Military spouses and children who are in the country illegally can be eligible to stay here without fear of deportation and eventually may earn permanent legal status. That policy for immigrant military relatives, known as “parole in place” PIP had existed for a number of years already but was formalized in a USCIS policy memorandum last week.