DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
- By giving you DACA, the government has agreed not to pursue your deportation from the United States. You are also granted a work permit, social security number and you may apply for a driver’s license. Many states will also allow you to compete for educational scholarships, although not all states allow this.
- On the other hand, receiving DACA does not automatically lead to permanent residency. Because most DACA recipients were never admitted and inspected, they cannot adjust status to permanent residency. Therefore, it is important that DACA recipients not violate the law or leave the United States without permission
- If you think you may be eligible for DACA, please contact our office and we will gladly speak to you about applying. If you are eligible, it is nearly always a good idea to apply.
TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS)
TPS stands for Temporary Protected Status. TPS is a designation made by the Secretary of Homeland Security establishing that conditions in a country prevent nationals of that country from safely returning. Any national of the designated country in the United States when the announcement is made, may apply for relief. Those who are beneficiaries of TPS can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) and authorization to travel outside the United States and return without issue. Beneficiaries of TPS are generally not removable from the United States even if ordered removed by an immigration judge.
The countries that are currently designated for TPS are:
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
Individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes or immigration violations may be ineligible for TPS. Please contact the attorneys at Lehigh Immigration if you believe this may be an issue for you or a loved one.
U VISAS FOR VICTIMS OF CRIMES
Victims of certain crimes in the United States who have cooperated with law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity may qualify for a U Visa.
You may qualify for a U Visa if:
- You are a victim of a qualified criminal activity that occurred in the United States or violated United States laws
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of such criminal activity
- You have information about the criminal activity and were, are, or are likely to be helpful in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime.
- You are admissible to the United States. For those who are not admissible, you may be able to apply for a waiver.
U Visa holders may apply for permanent residence three years after being granted U-Visa status if they meet certain criteria.
If you believe that you may qualify for a U Visa, please contact the attorneys at Lehigh Immigration for a consultation.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (MEN MAY ALSO APPLY)
- If you are married to a permanent US permanent resident or United States citizen or have been within the last two years and have been the victim of abuse, you may begin the process of obtaining US residency by petitioning for yourself using the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA. Despite its name, VAWA also allows men who were the victims of domestic violence to also petition for themselves. Like U visas, this process takes time but can help you to escape an abusive relationship and still obtain residency.