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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Daca gives undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children a path towards legal status, including the opportunity to obtain a work permit, driver’s license, social security card, and a safeguard against deportation from the United States.
In order to be considered for DACA, you must submit evidence, including supporting
documents, showing that you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 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 your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, 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
The U nonimmigrant visa is designed specifically for victims of certain crimes that have caused them to suffer abuse (either mental or physical). Immigrants who have been the victims of assault, domestic violence, robbery, sexual abuse or exploitation, or any number of other crimes may qualify for a U visa if they are willing to cooperate with law enforcement.
In order to be eligible for a T visa you must be a victim of human trafficking. You must be in the United States or a U.S. territory as a result of the trafficking. In addition, you need to be willing and able to assist law enforcement with their investigation. You may also qualify if you can demonstrate that being removed from the United States would result in extreme hardship or direct harm.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
The Violence Against Women Act created several options for immigrant victims abused at the hands of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. There are three primary categories of people who can qualify:
- Spouse – The spouse of an abusive husband or wife who is either a US citizen or a permanent resident will qualify. If a child is the direct victim of the abuse, you the parent can still apply for yourself and your children as long as they are unmarried and under 21 years old.
- Parent – Though less common, parents who are abused by their children may qualify under VAWA.
- Child – Children who are under 21 years of age and unmarried can file for themselves if they have been abused. In some cases, children between 21 and 25 years of age can still qualify as long as they only delayed filing directly because of the abuse.
You may be able to live in the U.S. permanently, if your VAWA petition is approved.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
TPS is granted to specific countries or regions of countries by the Secretary of Homeland Security who are in armed conflict, experiencing environmental disaster or other conditions that are extraordinary.
TPS provides the following benefits:
- You will not be removed from the United States if you are found preliminarily eligible;
- You can obtain an employment authorization document; and
- You may be given travel authorization.
You may be able to temporarily live in the U.S. while on TPS.
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