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President Obama’s Executive Order

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President Obama’s Executive Action announced on November 20, 2014 aims to make a number of changes to the current immigration system.  The Executive Action will help secure the border and crack down on illegal immigration, prioritize deporting felons not families, and will require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay and work in the United States without fear of deportation.  The Executive Action also aims to better streamline legal immigration to boost our economy through provisions in the employment and business sectors.

Please see the below details on whether the Executive Action provisions apply to you:

Parents of a U.S. Citizen  or Lawful Permanent Resident Child (DAPA) ~ may help those who already have a removal or deportation order

  • Allows parents to request deferred action and employment if you:
    1. Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010 (5 years);
    2. Are the parents of U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident born on or before November 20, 2014;
    3. Pass a background check / have a clean criminal record; and
    4. Pay future taxes
  • This status will grant you a temporary relief from deportation for three years at a time
  • This status does not provide a path to lawful permanent residence or citizenship
  • This status will allow you to obtain a work authorization for three years at a time
  • Does not come into effect until May 20, 2015

 

Current DACA Recipients and New DACA Applicants

  • Extends deadline to those who are over 31 years old
  • Allows current DACA recipients seeking renewal and new applicants, including individuals born before June 15, 1981 to:
    1. Apply for DACA provided they meet all other guidelines;
    2. Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010 (rather than June 15, 2007);
    3. Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to 3 years (rather than 2 years);
  • This status does not provide a path to lawful permanent residence or citizenship
  • Does not come into effect until February 20, 2015

 

Waivers for Undocumented and Unlawful Individuals

  • Allows the provisional waiver program by allowing spouses, adding sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available
  • Applies to:
    • Undocumented individuals;
    • Who have resided unlawfully in the United States for at least 180 days (6 months); and
    • Have U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, parents, sons or daughters.

 

Employment Provisions for those in Lawful Status

  • Allowing individuals holding H-4 Visas to lawfully work
    • S. Businesses use H-1B visas to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. H-1B workers’ spouses and children are admitted to the U.S. with H-4 visas.  These proposed provisions will allow H-4 visa holders to lawfully work.
  • Proposed changes to expand and extend the use of existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and require stronger ties between OPT students and their colleges and universities following graduation

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