As of September 5, 2017, United States, Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will no longer accept new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). Please see this article for more details. Due to this recent change, USCIS will also stop adjudicating advance parole requests that are associated with DACA.
Advance parole is a travel document that allows recipients to “legally” return to the United States after traveling abroad. Upon return, the recipients are “paroled” into the United States, which is considered a lawful entry. This benefited many DACA beneficiaries because a lawful entry would allow the DACA beneficiaries to obtain a green card within the United States (without traveling to a U.S. consulate abroad) if otherwise eligible to do so – and not protected under 245i. But DACA advance parole is no longer available. Fortunately, there is an alternative option, namely – I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (“I-601A waiver”).
Immigrants who entered without inspection (“EWI”), but be eligible for a green card through family or employment, are required to travel abroad to complete the immigration process. However, by doing so, they may be barred from returning to the United States for 3 or 10 years because they stayed here unlawfully. To overcome this issue, immigrants may apply for the I-601A waiver before leaving the United States. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
· Be at least 17 years of age;
· Be physically present in the United States to file the waiver and provide biometrics;
· Have a case pending with the U.S. Department of State based on:
o an approved immigrant visa petition (e.g. through family (I-130) or employment (I-140));
· Will depart from the United States to obtain the immigrant visa;
· Be able to demonstrate that refusal of admission to the United States will cause extreme hardship to applicants’ U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents; and
· Unlawful presence is the only inadmissibility issue at hand.
Even though DACA advance parole is no longer available, this does not mean persons are out of options to receive a green card. Many times, they are simply unaware of potential alternatives. So if you are at a loss and not sure how to protect you and your family’s future in the United States, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free in-person consultation. Having an experienced immigration attorney on your side can make all difference.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Kelly S. O’Reilly – Founding Partner
Kelly O’Reilly is a founding partner with Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC, and is a former District Adjudications Officer for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Los Angeles and Orange County. As an officer, Mr. O’Reilly was given the responsibility for adjudicating Employment-based and Family-based applications for Lawful Permanent Residency, Requests for Travel, Work Authorization, and Waivers of Inadmissibility. He was also responsible for conducting Marriage Fraud Interviews and requests for Naturalization.
Jeanny Tsoi – Attorney
Ms. Jeanny Tsoi is an Associate Attorney at Wilner & O’Reilly who handles employment-based transactional cases. She also has extensive experience with family-based immigration matters, 601/601A waivers, non-immigrant visas, and asylum applications. She is admitted to the State Bar of California, the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In 2008, Ms. Tsoi graduated Cum Laude from University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History. In 2012, she earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern Law School where she was the Vice President of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.