An Immigration Update from Catholic Migration Services

March 22, 2018

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New U.S. Government Policy Affecting Family-Based Petitions:
In January of this year the U.S. Department of State revised its “public charge” policy in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) also known as “State Department Instructions” on “public charge.” The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is also proposing changes to the federal government’s longstanding public charge policy.

Under the previous rules, intending immigrants had to prove that they would not become a “public charge” in the U.S. and they would be financially supported by a sponsor if needed. In order to prove this, the intending immigrant needed to submit a sworn statement from the sponsor or co-sponsor who earned enough income to prove that he or she could support the intending immigrant if necessary.

Under the new rules that were implemented at the end of January, the officer at the embassy can now consider a wide range of factors such as a family member’s or sponsor’s use of public benefits. Therefore, if you or your family member are receiving benefits from the Supplemental Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP or food stamps it does not mean that you are banned from sponsoring your relatives. However, these factors will be considered along with several other items, which include the intending immigrant’s age, health, and employment history.

Catholic Migration Services would like to take this opportunity to reiterate this does not mean that you should stop receiving any benefits that you currently need for your family.

It is still too early to know how this policy change is being applied in the different consulates abroad. As a result, we will continue to do our best to keep the community informed on policy changes as we have done in the past. If you have any questions about your particular circumstance please call our office.

How to Contact Us:
If you have any questions or concerns, please call Catholic Migration Services in Brooklyn at (718) 236-3000 or in Queens at (347) 472-3500 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday. For additional information, visit our website and follow us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CMSBQ.

Download this update as a PDF.

Correction to the Recent Changes to Temporary Protected Status Pertaining to Haiti

January 22, 2018

Presione aquí para la versión en Español
Peze la pou tradui nan Kreyol Ayisyen

The recent Federal Register Notice on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti contained an error affecting Haitian TPS holders who have pending applications with USCIS. Below please find those corrections reflected.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the termination of the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti on November 23, 2017. TPS for Haitian recipients will expire on July 22, 2019. Please read the following for information pertaining to the re-registration process.

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who receives TPS for Haiti to call our office and schedule an appointment for a free legal consultation.

What are the important deadlines?

  • If you are a current Haitian TPS holder with a pending TPS application as of January 18, 2018 you do NOT need to apply again. If TPS is approved from the pending application, TPS will be granted through the termination date of July 22, 2019 and you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (work permit) with an expiration date of July 22, 2019.
  • Current Haitian TPS holders who received an Employment Authorization Document with an expiration date of January 22, 2018, will receive an automatic extension of their work permit for 180 days (valid through July 21, 2018) however, you must re-register in order to continue receiving TPS through the termination date of July 22, 2019.
  • Re-registration for Haitian TPS runs from January 18, 2018 through March 19, 2018.
  • If you do not re-register during this time period, you will not be in lawful status and will effectively abandon your TPS.

Do I need to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (work permit)?

  • The Department of Homeland Security has automatically extended the validity of work permits expiring on January 22, 2018 for 180 days, through July 21, 2018.  If you wish to maintain status and have a valid work permit through July 22, 2019, you should apply for a new work permit.
  • For Haitian TPS holder with pending TPS applications, and a work permit that expires on July 22, 2017, your work authorization will similarly be automatically extended. However, you will need to provide the following documents to your employer:
    • An Employment Authorization Document with a July 22, 2017 date on its face;
    • An Employment Authorization Document application receipt from the previous Haitian TPS renewal period (filed on or after May 24, 2017);
    • A copy of the USCIS supplemental statement which was issued on January 18, 2018
    • Federal Register Notice dated January 18, 2018.

Do I need to pay any fees?

  • If you are 14 years or older, you must submit an $85 biometrics fee with your re-registration;
  • If you are unable to pay the biometrics fee, you may submit a request for a fee waiver;
  • You do not need to pay a filing fee for renewing your TPS if you are under 14 years old;
  • If you wish to receive a new work permit with a July 22, 2019 expiration date on the face of the card, you must pay the $410 Employment Authorization Document fee;
  • All forms and payments can be filed together.

To be screened for other possible forms of immigration relief or if you have any questions, please contact Catholic Migration Services at (718) 236-3000.                                                                                                                          

Download this update as a PDF.

Recent Changes to Temporary Protected Status Pertaining to Honduras

January 19, 2018

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras for 6 months, from January 6, 2018 to July 5, 2018. Please read the following for information pertaining to this extension.

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who receives TPS for Honduras to call our office and schedule an appointment for a free legal consultation.

What are the important deadlines?

  • If you are a current Honduran TPS holder you must timely re-register to maintain TPS throughout the current extension period. Re-registration for Honduran TPS runs from December 15, 2017 through February 13, 2018.
  • If you do not re-register during this time period, you will not be in lawful status and will effectively abandon your TPS.

Do I need to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (work permit)?

  • The Department of Homeland Security has automatically extended the validity of work permits expiring on January 5, 2018 for 180 days, through July 4, 2018.
  • If you want to obtain a new work permit with a July 5, 2018 expiration date written on the face of the card, you must also apply for an Employment Authorization Document with the USCIS and pay for the new document.

Do I need to pay any fees?

  • If you are 14 years or older, you must submit an $85 biometrics fee with your re-registration;
  • If you are unable to pay the biometrics fee, you may submit a request for a fee waiver;
  • You do not need to pay a filing fee for renewing your TPS if you are under 14 years old;
  • If you wish to receive a new work permit with a July 5, 2018 expiration date on the face of the card, you must pay the $410 Employment Authorization Document fee;
  • All forms and payments can be filed together.

To be screened for other possible forms of immigration relief or if you have any questions, please contact Catholic Migration Services at 718-236-3000.

Download this update as a PDF.

 

Recent Changes to Temporary Protected Status Pertaining to El Salvador

January 19, 2018

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the termination of the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador. TPS for Salvadoran recipients will expire on September 9, 2019. Please read the following for information pertaining to the re-registration process.

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who receives TPS for El Salvador to call our office and schedule an appointment for a free legal consultation.

What are the important deadlines?

  • If you are a current Salvadoran TPS holder you must timely re-register to maintain TPS throughout the current extension period. Re-registration for Salvadoran TPS runs from January 18, 2018 through March 19, 2018.
  • If you do not re-register during this time period, you will not be in lawful status and will effectively abandon your TPS.

Do I need to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (work permit)?

  • Current Salvadoran TPS holders who have an Employment Authorization Document with an expiration date of March 9, 2018 will receive an automatic extension of their work permit for 180 days (valid through September 5, 2018).
  • If you want to obtain a new work permit with a September 9, 2019 expiration date written on the face of the card, you must also apply for an Employment Authorization Document with the USCIS and pay for the new document.

Do I need to pay any fees?

  • If you are 14 years or older, you must submit an $85 biometrics fee with your re-registration;
  • If you are unable to pay the biometrics fee, you may submit a request for a fee waiver;
  • You do not need to pay a filing fee for renewing your TPS if you are under 14 years old;
  • If you wish to receive a new work permit with a September 9, 2019 expiration date on the face of the card, you must pay the $410 Employment Authorization Document fee;
  • All forms and payments can be filed together.

To be screened for other possible forms of immigration relief or if you have any questions, please contact Catholic Migration Services at 718-236-3000.

Download this update as a PDF.

Recent Changes to Temporary Protected Status Pertaining to Haiti

January 18, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the termination of the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti on November 23, 2017. TPS for Haitian recipients will expire on July 22, 2019. Please read the following for information pertaining to the re-registration process.

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who receives TPS for Haiti to call our office and schedule an appointment for a free legal consultation.

What are the important deadlines?

  • If you are a current Haitian TPS holder with a pending TPS application as of January 18, 2018 you do NOT need to apply again. If TPS is approved from the pending application, TPS will be granted through the termination date of July 22, 2019 and you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (work permit) with an expiration date of July 22, 2019.
  • Current Haitian TPS holders who received an Employment Authorization Document with an expiration date of January 22, 2018, will receive an automatic extension of their work permit for 180 days (valid through July 21, 2018) however, you must re-register in order to continue receiving TPS through the termination date of July 22, 2019.
  • Re-registration for Haitian TPS runs from January 18, 2018 through March 19, 2018.
  • If you do not re-register during this time period, you will not be in lawful status and will effectively abandon your TPS.

Do I need to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (work permit)?

  • The Department of Homeland Security has automatically extended the validity of work permits expiring on January 22, 2018 for 180 days, through July 21, 2018.  If you wish to maintain status and have a valid work permit through July 22, 2019, you should apply for a new work permit before the July 21, 2018 expiration date.

Do I need to pay any fees?

  • If you are 14 years or older, you must submit an $85 biometrics fee with your re-registration;
  • If you are unable to pay the biometrics fee, you may submit a request for a fee waiver;
  • You do not need to pay a filing fee for renewing your TPS if you are under 14 years old;
  • If you wish to receive a new work permit with a July 22, 2019 expiration date on the face of the card, you must pay the $410 Employment Authorization Document fee;
  • All forms and payments can be filed together.

To be screened for other possible forms of immigration relief or if you have any questions, please contact Catholic Migration Services at 718-236-3000.

Download this update as a PDF

Recent Changes to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

January 15, 2018

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Due to a federal court order issued on January 9, 2018, USCIS has resumed accepting renewal applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Until further notice, individuals previously granted DACA may request a renewal of their status and employment authorization. USCIS is not accepting applications from those who have never before received DACA.

What this announcement means:
If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016, you may file a renewal request. Renewal requests can be made up to 180 days (6 months) before your work permit expires.

If your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, or it was terminated at any time, you may file a new initial request now.  However, if you have never received DACA in the past, you are not allowed to file an initial application at this time.

Travel with DACA:
It is no longer possible to submit an application for Advance Parole (permission to re-enter the United States granted in advance of travel abroad) as a DACA recipient.

Expiration of DACA and Enforcement:
According to DHS, as of now, “information provided in DACA requests will not be proactively provided to other law enforcement entities (including ICE and CBP) for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings unless the request or poses a risk to national security or public safety, or meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear or a referral to ICE under the criteria.” However, this policy may change at a later time.

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who currently receives DACA to call our office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Please visit our website periodically at www.catholicmigration.org for information pertaining to DACA assistance.

Download this statement as a PDF.