7 Options Currently Available For Legal Immigration to the United States.

7 Options Currently Available For Legal Immigration to the United States.

Although the great Comprehensive Immigration Reform we were all waiting and hoping for in 2015 never materialized, it may be that there are still legal options available to help you or a family member improve your Immigration status.

The following are 7 different scenarios in which one may still be able to improve their Immigration status and possibly gain Lawful Permanent Residence in the United States based on laws currently available:

(1) First, if one enters the U.S. after having been lawfully admitted and overstays their permitted time of entry, that person can apply for lawful permanent residency if:

(A) they have a Petition filed by a U.S. Citizen spouse, or

(B) have a Petition filed by a U.S. Citizen child who is over 21.

If these options do not apply, there still may be other possibilities.

For instance:

(2) If an applicant (or an immediate relative of the applicant such as their Father or Mother) had a Petition or Labor Certification Application filed with the Department of Labor on or before April 30, 2001, and the beneficiary of that application or petition was physically present in the U.S. on or before December 20, 2000, they may be grandfathered in under the 245 (i) law that was in effect until April 30, 2001.

(3) Possibilities may also exist if an applicant has a U.S. Citizen son or daughter in the military, national reserve or is a veteran, as well as;

(4) If an applicant has a spouse who is a member of the armed forces, reserve or is a veteran, that person may also be able to benefit.

(5) Other options also exist for victims of certain crimes and if that person cooperates with the police or prosecutor. Under this “U” Visa category one can obtain a work permit and have the possibility to gain lawful permanent residence in three years.

(6) In addition, if an applicant has a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse and that person has been victim of physical or psychological abuse, that individual can obtain a work permit and permanent residence under a confidential process using the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) which is actually available for both men and women who are victims of domestic violence.

Last but not least:

(7) If one entered the country before the age of 16, has been continually present in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to now, has evidence of good moral character and no criminal record, has received a high school diploma, GED, is still in school now, or even has dropped out of school but now enrolled again or is in a program that lets them obtain their GED, that person can still take advantage of DACA under President Obama’s Executive Order. This will allow that person to obtain a work permit and legally apply for a Social Security number.

Please keep in mind that this list is a brief summary of options that may be available and is not exhaustive. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your requirements to determine if you may qualify before submitting any applications or petitions.

If you know of anyone who may benefit from this notice please share it with them.

Good luck to all in 2016!

Carlos Candal, Esq.

New Haven, CT