SHOULD I APPLY?
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
You may be eligible for TPS if you are in the U.S. and a national of a country that has been designated as for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in a country designated for TPS due to either:
An ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
In order to apply, applicants must file during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
Applicants who are approved to TPS are not removable from the United States and cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status, can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) and may be granted travel authorization. TPS does not provide a pathway to citizenship or give a an immigration status, but does not prevent you for apply for a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa if you otherwise qualify.
Current countries designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
If you believe that you qualify for TSP and would like to speak to an immigration attorney about your potential, schedule a low cost initial consultation today!
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
This immigration benefit provides a way to permanent residence and a green card for five (5) categories of noncitizens: (1) An Amerasian (born after Dec. 31, 1950, and before Oct. 23, 1982); (2) The widow(er) of a U.S. citizen; (3) A self-petitioning spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under VAWA; (4) A self-petitioning parent of an abusive U.S. citizen under VAWA; or (5) A special immigrant.
In order to be considered under category 5 special immigrant definition you must be one of the following:
- Religious worker;
- Panama Canal company employee, Canal Zone government employee, or U.S. government in the Canal Zone employee;
- Physician licensed and practicing medicine in a U.S. state as of Jan. 9, 1978;
- International organization or NATO-6 employee or family member;
- Juvenile who needs the protection of a juvenile court because they have been abused, neglected or abandoned by a parent;
- U.S. armed forces member;
- Afghan or Iraqi national who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government as a translator;
- Iraqi national who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or
- An Afghan national who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government or the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan; or
- Broadcasters for the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) or for a USAGM grantee.
If you application is approved, you are eligible to apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the United States. If you have an approved application and have been placed in deferred action, you are still eligible to apply to EAD.
Asylum and Refugee
Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or arriving at the U.S. border who meet the definition of a “refugee.” A refugee is defined as any person who is:
- Outside any country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and
- who is unable or unwilling to return to, and
- is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country
- because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of
race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,
With the exception of TPS holders, applicants for Asylum must file and lodge his or her application for asylum within one year of your arrival to the U.S or show good cause as to why application was not timely filed.
After 180 days of a pending Asylum application, the asylum applicant can file for Employment Authorization Documents to work in the U.S. If the application is subsequently approved, the Asylum applicant will be eligible to receive U.S. residency or a green card.
You may include your spouse and children who are in the United States on your application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.
If you are in fear of returning to your home country based on the above definition of refugee and would like to discuss you eligibility to apply for asylum, schedule your low cost consultation to day.
This is a nonimmigrant visa for victims of a qualifying crimes that occurred in the U.S. that are not otherwise inadmissible. If you suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity, have information about the crime and have been or are willing to help in the investigation or prosecution that crime, and are admissible to the U.S., you may be eligible for this visa.
There is an annual limit of 10,000 U-Visa granted each year for principal U-visa holders. There is no cap on U-visa for derivatives but derivatives will not become current until principal U visa holder is current.
Once the principal U-visa is granted, the principal automatically receives Employment Authorization Documents (EAD). Derivative family members under the principle are eligible to work but must file separate EAD. If the cap is reached for the year and the U-visa is approved, then DHS will deferred action the case to be put on waiting list for U-visas to become current. While on waiting list, the principal and derivatives may apply for EAD based of deferred action.
Residency – Green Card
A grant of an U-visa can be up to 4 years. Extensions are available to those who qualify. After 3 years of maintaining U-visa Status the principal and derivative may be eligible to apply for residency and receive a green card. Based on USCIS’s exercise of discretion.
If you are a victim of a crime that occurred in the U.S. and wish to discuss your eligibility to apply for a U-visa, schedule your low cost consultation today!
Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to compel individuals to provide labor or services, including commercial sex. Traffickers often take advantage of vulnerable individuals, including those lacking lawful immigration status. T visas offer protection to victims and strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking . T nonimmigrant status is a temporary immigration benefit that enables certain victims of a severe form of human trafficking to remain in the United States for up to 4 years if they have assisted law enforcement in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.
T nonimmigrant status is also available for certain qualifying family members of trafficking victims. T nonimmigrants are eligible for employment authorization and certain federal and state benefits and services. T nonimmigrants who qualify may also be able to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents (obtain a Green Card).
You may be eligible for T nonimmigrant status if you:
- Are or were a victim of a severe form of human trafficking as defined above;
- Are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking;
- Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (unless you are under the age of 18 or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma. In either case, you may not need to show that you complied with reasonable requests from law enforcement);
- Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States; and
- Are admissible to the United States
If you are granted T-1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS will provide you with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) at the same time your Form I-914 application is approved. Eligible family members in the U.S that are included in the principal’s T visa application may file for EAD at the same time or at a later time.
Residency – Green Card
T nonimmigrants may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (a Green Card) after 3 years in T nonimmigrant status or once the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking is complete, whichever occurs earlier.
If you a victim of severe human traffic and would like to discuss you eligibility to apply for a T-visa, book your low cost consultation today!
Not sure if you are eligible to apply for a certain immigration benefit? Here you can find general information on who can apply, how to apply and what you can expect to happen in the application process. If you still have questions of whether you would be a good applicant and would like to schedule a low cost consultation or have an attorney review your self-prepared application before you file it, click on the link below and schedule your consultation today.