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Know Your Rights – DACA Update

On July 16, 2021, a federal judge in Texas issued an order declaring that DACA is an illegal policy. While that decision is being appealed, USCIS is still accepting initial and renewal DACA applications. USCIS will continue to process renewal applications in the usual manner. For initial applications, however, USCIS may accept initial applications, but it cannot grant initial DACA applications while the Texas judge’s order is in effect.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
Current DACA Recipients
• Current DACA Recipients can continue to apply to renew their DACA. It is recommended that you submit your renewal between 150 and 120 days of the expiration date of your current DACA.
• DACA protections and benefits continue (e.g. deportation protection and work permits)
• Renewal work permits are still valid for two years
• Renewal fee remains $495

New DACA Applicants
USCIS will accept initial applications, but it cannot and will not approve any initial applications while the judge’s order is in effect. Initial applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Had no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate (or other State-authorized exam in the United States), or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Even if a first-time applicant meets these criteria, USCIS cannot approve the application at this time. Speak with an experienced immigration law practitioner before submitting an initial DACA application.

ADVANCE PAROLE

  • Advance Parole applications for humanitarian, education, or employment purposes will be accepted for people with DACA.
  • IMPORTANT: Being granted Advance Parole does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the U.S. It is important that you speak with an immigration attorney or Department of Justice Accredited Representative to understand your situation BEFORE traveling outside of the U.S.
  • For additional information, visit https://www.uscis.gov/DACA

FREE LEGAL HELP MAY BE AVAILABLE
All DACA eligible individuals should consult with a legal service provider for information about applying for DACA, renewing their existing DACA and/or getting screened for eligibility for other, more permanent immigration benefits. To make an appointment with Catholic Migration Services for free legal assistance, please call our office Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at (718) 236-3000 (Brooklyn office) or (347) 472-3500 (Queens office). You can also send a request with your name, phone number, borough where you reside and language(s) spoken via email to immigrationassistance@catholicmigration.org.
For additional information and free legal advice, you can also contact 311 and ask for “Action NYC”.

Immigration Update Pertaining to Afghanistan and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

On March 16, 2022, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Afghanistan will be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

What does this announcement mean?
The designation of TPS for Afghanistan allows Afghani nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in the Afghanistan) who have continuously resided in the United States since March 15, 2022 to file an initial application for TPS, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Please note that those who travel to the United States after March 15, 2022, are not be eligible for TPS. Individuals granted TPS are not removable from the United States, can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit, Social Security Number, and may be granted travel authorization.

When can I apply for TPS?
Please note that because the TPS designation has not been officially published in the Federal Register yet, the application process has NOT started. To confirm the start of the application process, please call the New York State New Americans Hotline – a hotline that provides free information and referrals on immigration matters – at 800-566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

How do I apply?
We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you need to include in your application.

If you have questions, please call Catholic Migration Services at (718) 236-3000, extension 2015, extension 2018, or you can e-mail us at immigrationassistance@catholicmigration.org with your name, phone number and the languages you speak.

For additional information, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.

Click here to download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Afghanistan and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

As of March 21, 2022

Immigration Update Pertaining to Ukraine and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

On March 3, 2022 the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the Ukraine will be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

What does this announcement mean?
The designation of TPS for Ukraine allows Ukrainian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in the Ukraine) who have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022 to file an initial application for TPS, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Please note that those who travel to the United States after March 1, 2022, are not be eligible for TPS. Individuals granted TPS are not removable from the United States, can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit, Social Security Number, and may be granted travel authorization.

When can I apply for TPS?
Please note that because the TPS designation has not been officially published in the Federal Register yet, the application process has NOT started. To confirm the start of the application process, please call the New York State New Americans Hotline – a hotline that provides free information and referrals on immigration matters – at 800-566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. .

How do I apply?
We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you need to include in your application.

If you have questions, please call Catholic Migration Services at (718) 236-3000, extension 2015 or extension 2018. If we are unable to answer the phone, please leave a message with your name, phone number and the languages you speak. You can also email this information to immigrationassistance@catholicmigration.org.

For additional information, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.

Click here to download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Ukraine and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Click here to download the Services to Ukrainian Nationals Flyer in English and Ukrainian

Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Peze la pou tradui nan Kreyol Ayisyen

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

  • Temporary Protected Status is an immigration status available to some people from countries the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as “unsafe to return to” for various reasons, such as civil war, political unrest, natural disaster, etc.
  • TPS is a temporary immigration status that may be renewed for as long as the TPS designation is in place
  • People with TPS:
    • May not be deported from the United States
    • Can obtain employment authorization cards (“work permits”)
    • Can obtain permission to travel in some situations(“advance parole”)

What Temporary Protected Status is NOT:

  • TPS is not, by itself, a path to permanent residence, citizenship, or other long-term immigration status
    • TPS does not stop an individual from seeking other immigration benefits (i.e., asylum, permanent residence, other nonimmigrant status)
  • TPS is not an absolute protection against deportation
    • If an individual becomes ineligible for TPS due to criminal convictions or any other reason, the individual may be deportable
  • TPS is not permanent
    • TPS designations may last for many years, as it has with Haiti, but it cannot become permanent
    • If the unsafe situation in a TPS country resolves itself, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may end the TPS program for that country

Who is eligible for the newly announced Haitian TPS?

  • Haiti was designated for TPS on August 3, 2021
    • The general eligibility requirements for Haitian TPS are:
      1. Must be a national (citizen) of Haiti and enter the United States as a Haitian national
        • If you entered the United States with a non-Haiti passport or claimed citizenship from another country, you are likely not eligible for Haitian TPS
      1. Must have resided in the United States since July 29, 2021
        • Have you been living in the US since that date?
      1. Must have been continuously physically present since August 3, 2021
        • Were you physically in the United States since that date?
      1. Must not have firmly resettled in another country before coming to the United States
        • If you were offered or received a permanent or long-term immigration status in another country before arriving in the United States, you may be ineligible for TPS.
        • If you think you may have firmly resettled, you should speak with an immigration attorney before applying for TPS.
      1. Must not have certain criminal convictions
        • This is a complex area of immigration law. Speak with an immigration attorney if you have concerns about prior convictions.

How do I apply for Temporary Protected Status?

  • The fee to apply for TPS is $545($135 if you do not want a work permit). This fee is the same for all TPS applicants right now, even if you have had TPS previously
    • This filing fee may be waived in certain circumstances (i.e., low-income, public assistance recipients)
      • FormI-821, Application for TPS, must be filed to receive TPS
      • FormI-765, Application for Employment Authorization, is required to receive a work permit
    • Documentation showing you meet the eligibility requirements must be submitted:
      • Proof of Haitian citizenship (passport and/or birth certificate)
      • Proof you have resided and been present in the United States
        • Visa stamp or other entry records, lease, bills, school, medical and/or employment records, bank statements, etc.
        • If you have been arrested or think you may have firmly resettled, you may need to provide additional documentation. You should speak with an immigration attorney if you are unsure
      • Where and how to file for TPS can be found at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website:
        • gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status/temporary-protected-status-designated-country-haiti

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. and 5:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

Click here to download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Immigration Update Pertaining to Venezuela and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Presione aquí para la versión en Español

On March 9, 2021 the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 9, 2022.

Catholic Migration Services urges anyone who may be eligible to receive TPS for Venezuela to call our office and schedule an appointment for a free legal consultation.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

What does this announcement mean?
This new designation of TPS for Venezuela allows Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently in the United States to file an initial application for TPS, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or eligible for TPS are not removable from the United States, can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit, Social Security Number, and may be granted travel authorizations. TPS may be renewed as long as Venezuela is designated a Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) country.

When can I apply for TPS?
Eligible individuals can apply now. The TPS registration period for Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) began March 9, 2021 and will remain in effect through September 5, 2021. Individuals should file applications in time to have it received by USCIS before that date.

How do I apply?
We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you may need to include in your application.

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, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.

Download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Venezuela and the Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Protecciones contra el desalojo por COVID-19

Noticias importantes: ¡Gracias al gran trabajo de los inquilinos en todo Nueva York, aquí hay nuevas protecciones de vivienda para evitar el desalojo hasta el 1 de mayo! Para obtener más información, llámenos al (347) 472-3500 ext. 1026 o ext. 1019.