DACA, U Visa, and TPS Updates
On July 16, 2021, a Texas federal court ruled that DACA is not a lawful policy. He ordered the Government not to grant first-time initial DACA requests.
What does this mean if I currently have DACA?
  • If you currently have DACA, your DACA, and work permit are still valid.
  • If your DACA was granted on or before July 16, 2021, it is still valid.
  • Anyone who was granted DACA on or before July 16, 2021 is able to renew their DACA.

What does this mean if you have a first-time DACA request in the middle of processing?
  • Judge Hanen ruled that USCIS is no longer allowed to grant DACA to first time applicants.
  • At this time, your application has been put on hold. The Government will not reject or close the application. For this reason, the Government will not be giving refunds on first time applications.

I was thinking about applying for DACA, should I still apply?
  • The Government is still accepting applications, however, they cannot grant them. Please first consult with an attorney experienced in immigration matters.

I received my biometrics appointment, what does this mean?
  • The Government has begun cancelling DACA ASC appointment at this time for initial applications. If your appointment has not been cancelled, attend your appointment.

I already went to my biometrics appointment; will my application be granted?
  • The Government is not allowed to grant first time DACA applications, even if your biometrics were previously taken.

What does this mean if I have a pending DACA renewal?
  • The Government will continue to process and accept DACA renewals.

Can I still apply for Advance Parole?
  • The Government will continue to accept, and grant application for advance parole.

U Visa Deferred Action

The Government announced that it will issue employment authorization and grant deferred action to petitioners in the United States with pending U visa petitions that it determines are bona fide and who merit a favorable exercise of discretion. 
What does USCIS consider bona fide?
  • The petition must include a certification from law enforcement that the petitioner was a victim of a crime and that the victim has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of that crime
  • The petition must be made in good faith and without intention of fraud.
  • Principal Petitioner properly filed Form I-918 and I-918B Certification.
  • Principal Petitioner properly filed a personal statement from the petitioner describing the facts of the victimization; and
  • Result of the principal petitioner’s biometrics has been received.

Do I have to apply for Deferred Action?
  • The Government will issue employment authorization and deferred action if, after conducting and reviewing background checks, the agency determines, in its discretion, that petitioners merit a favorable discretion and that are not a risk to national security or public safety.
  • If an I-765 (work authorization application) application was not submitted with the original U Visa application, you may file one after USCIS grants deferred action.

When does this policy begin?
  • This guidance is effective immediately and applies to all petitions that are currently pending or filed on or after June 14, 2021.

What else should I be aware of?
  • The Government has decided that when confirming a relationship between the principal petitioner and the qualifying family member based on marriage, the Government will evaluate whether the relationship existed at the time the principal petition was decided, rather than when the principal petition was filed.

TPS Update
Designation of Haiti for TPS

The Government just announced the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective Aug. 3, 2021, through Feb. 3, 2023. This designation will allow current beneficiaries to re-register for TPS. But it will also benefit an estimated 100,000 additional individuals who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 29, 2021.

What are the requirements to apply for TPS?
  • Be a national of Haiti, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period: from Aug. 3, 2021 through Feb. 3, 2023; 
  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since July 29, 2021;
  • Have been continuously residing in the United States since July 29, 2021; and
  • Have not been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States

What is the deadline to apply for TPS?
  • You must register during the 18-month registration period that runs from Aug. 3, 2021 through Feb. 3, 2023. 
You can now file first-time TPS applications On-line

Applicants from certain countries can now file initial applications online.

Who is now eligible to apply online?
  • Applicants who are eligible are nationals of Burma, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, or Yemen

I am a national of a country not listed, may I still apply online?
  • The Government is only accepting initial TPS applications online for Burma, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

If I am a national of one of the listed countries, can I apply for a work permit online?
  • The Government will allow the filing of Form I-765 (Request for Employment Authorization) and Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) at the same time.

What if I am not a national of Burma, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, or Yemen and I file an initial TPS application online?
  • The Government will deny the application and keep the fee.

When will nationals from other countries be able to file online for re-registrants and initial applicants?
  • The Government is currently working to make online filing available for re-registrants and initial applicants for all TPS designations in the future.

If I want to re-register for TPS, can I do so online?
  • No. At this time, only first-time applicants who are nationals of Burma, Haiti, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, or Yemen may file online.

For more information regarding DACA, U Visas, and TPS, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 713-289-4546 or via email at info@montyramirezlaw.com

Monty & Ramirez LLP
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Houston, Texas 77076

Phone: 281.493.5529
Toll-Free: 1.866.427.0152