Effective December 23, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the fees that must be submitted with the majority of its immigration forms. The USCIS fee increases, which were finalized in an announcement yesterday, can be found in a final rule published in the Federal Register. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include these new fees or USCIS will reject your submission.
During the early summer of 2016, USCIS announced fee increases would be coming. The USCIS fee increases became official yesterday. Fees increased by a weighted average of 21 percent for many forms. While fees for some forms increased only modestly, fees for other forms such as Form N-600 ballooned by 95 percent. Continue reading
Preparing your initial DACA application, even with a lawyer’s help, was probably challenging. The concept of deferred action was very new, and the application packet was voluminous. But renewing DACA on your own has never been easier. Once the initial application has been approved, DACA renewals are generally much easier. Far fewer documents are required. And with the right guidance, many do-it-yourself filers can prepare the DACA renewal application by themselves.
For DACA recipients with straightforward cases, renewing your deferred action status is possible. If you’ve ever run into problems with law enforcement or immigration authorities, it’s a good idea to discuss your situation with an immigration attorney. In many situations and with the right advice, you might still be able to renew DACA on your own. Continue reading
Unfortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no different than any other massive government organization – they are heavily burdened with a large workload and aren’t the most efficient organization. In fact, several agencies make up the overall immigration system. Consular offices, Department of State and the National Visa Center all play a role. Over 6 million forms are filed with USCIS each year alone. Even if you’ve used our tips for preparing USCIS forms, it’s not uncommon for these agencies to lose parts of your application package or even the whole thing. But there are some preventive measures so that you don’t have to call us to say, “USCIS lost my application!” Continue reading
Several million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. received a stunning blow last week when the Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision effectively killed President Obama’s new deferred action plans. The immigration actions known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expanded version of the already successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) appear to be hopelessly frozen.
For undocumented immigrants, the clear goal is a path to a long-term legal status. These paths to legal status lead to permanent resident status (green card) and U.S. citizenship. Certain immigrants with no legal status may have some paths available. This article covers those options and who could qualify for them. Continue reading
Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order. And while the program has positively transformed the lives of many, there is still so much left unaccomplished in those four years. The DREAM has yet to be fully realized.
The DACA program, announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012, provides benefits to young immigrants living in the United States who came to the U.S. at an early age as undocumented immigrants with their parents. Each renewable two-year grant of DACA provides:
- Deferred action — Protection from deportation
- Employment authorization – a work permit that allows the individual to work within the United States
The battle to unfreeze President Obama’s DAPA and expanded DACA executive actions is now in the U.S. Supreme Court
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the lawsuit that froze the implementation of an expansion to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the creation of the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program. For immigration advocates, this is a major decision in the fight for families.
It’s probably the first U.S.-government issued identification that you’ve ever had. So losing a work permit from your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grant can be an exasperating experience. Don’t despair; you can replace a lost DACA card.
It’s important to understand that losing the DACA card, officially known as an employment authorization card, does not mean that you’ve lost your grant of DACA. It’s only a card that proves your deferred action status and authorization to work in the United States.
However, not having the work permit in your possession can create at least two serious problems: Continue reading
After you’ve filed almost any application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will respond by mailing you a Form I-797, Notice of Action, within approximately 1-2 weeks. The I-797, Notice of Action, is commonly known as a receipt letter.
For applicants that have incorrectly filed or included the wrong payment, this receipt letter will indicate that the case has been rejected. The applicant will need to refile. If you’ve prepared the form correctly and followed the USCIS directions carefully, this receipt letter will indicated that your case has been accepted. Once the form has been accepted, USCIS will begin reviewing your case.
The receipt letter contains a unique 13-digit receipt number. Also known as a case number, it’s a very important number to help you track the progress of your case or identify a particular immigration filing.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death and how a new Justice will be selected has injected new fuel into the Democratic and Republican debates. But it’s highly unlikely that a new Justice will be selected before this spring when the Supreme Court takes on expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA). Both the DAPA and expanded DACA programs have been blocked by lower courts. In the case known as United States v. Texas, the Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision. Continue reading
After obtaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recipients will generally have to file taxes with DACA. Like everyone else, your income tax return is due April 15th.
If future laws provide a path to citizenship for deferred action recipients, you can bet that your responsibility as a tax paying member of society will be scrutinized. Filing taxes after DACA is a great way to build a solid track record too. Down the road, there’s a good chance you’ll need to show compliance with tax requirements, proof of your income, or prove your physical presence in the United States. Continue reading