The injunction that is holding up the start of the New DACA and the DAPA was not lifted at the appeals court hearing on 17 April. The Appeals Court had three judges, all of them conservative Republicans.
The hearing on 17 April was brief, only an hour, and no final decision was reached. Thus, the injunction remains in place until further notice. The DAPA program can not start now and the new DACA is also still on hold.
New DACA applicants who qualify for the original 2012 DACA can still apply. The main DACA rules issued in 2012 are 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;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012.
Last week, Judge Hanen reaffirmed his preliminary injunction from February. The one positive note for illegal immigrants is that Judge Hanen did not stop the administration's policy of focusing deportation proceedings on those who have committed crimes. This means that actual deportation risk is low for immigrants with deep connections to the US. In fact, the administration has halved the number of deportations in the past five months.
Meanwhile, for millions of undocumented immigrants who were expecting an expanded DACA and a new DAPA, the wait will continue. The 5th Circuit is due to hear a full appeal later this year, and it is still possible that the case may need to go to the Supreme Court for a final decision.
We will discuss four major visa categories, starting with Non-Immigrant visas. There are several types of non-immigrant visas, the most common ones being the
B-1/B-2 Visas which are available to Short-term visitors for pleasure or business.
All of the non-immigrant visas require the applicant to demonstrate strong family and financial ties to the home country. Many consular officers rely on the visa application and a brief chat with the applicant to decide if they will issue the visa. They do not place much weight on documents that the applicant brings to the visa interview.
The US Consulate may authorize a stay of up to six months, though on arrival in the US it will be up to the CBP officer to determine the exact amount of time authorized. B1/2 visa holders are not allowed to work in the US. Medical tourists should be prepared to provide documentation of medical diagnosis from a local physician as well as an explanation of why the applicant needs treatment in the US, a letter from the US physician or medical facility expressing a willingness to treat the ailment, and documentation showing the applicant has the financial ability to cover the costs.
H-1B Visas are available to people with at least a bachelor’s degree who are coming to work in “specialty occupations” such as science and technology. There is an annual limit of 65,000 H1-B visas and every year there are well over 100,000 applicants for these visas. CIS chooses the applications to be processed by a random computer process. Applications that are not chosen are returned, along with the filing fee.
H1B visas are valid for up to six years. Spouse can work starting in May 2015. USCIS must approve before consulate can issue visa. CIS usually accepts applications the first week of April each year, for employment beginning the following October.
F-1 Visas – for students. Must be enrolled full-time. There is limited on-campus work eligibility; off-campus employment is prohibited employment authorization is granted by the school or the USCIS. Spouses and children of an F1 student are not entitled to work; children can enroll in K-12 education, spouse cannot study unless he or she has a separate student visa.
L Visas – Intra-company Transfers. For managers who are coming to the US after working for at least one year for the overseas office of a company that has offices both in the US and outside the US. Easy to get green card for owners, managers and executives; spouses are allowed to work; USCIS must approve L Visa application before consulate can issue visa.
R Visas – Religious Workers coming to the US to work as a minister or work in a religious vocation or occupation, and who have been a member of the religious denomination for at least two years. Valid for up to five years; convertible to a green card. USCIS approval now required before consulate can issue visa and a site visit by CIS is required.
Q.1. My nephew is in the US on a tourist visa. Can he enroll at a university before he gets approval from CIS to change to an F1 student visa?
A.1. He must wait until CIS approves the change from B2 to F1. If he enrolls before CIS approves, he will not be eligible for a student visa.
Q.2. There is a Buddhist monk here with a Religious Worker visa. He wants to improve his English while in the US. Can he enroll in English language classes?
A.2. His visa is only for religious work and it does not permit formal study of English. He should ask for some language study help from people who visit the temple.
Q.3. When applying for a tourist visa, what is the minimum amount that an applicant must show for his bank account, salary, value of property?
A.3. There is no minimum amount for any of these things. The consular officer will just look at the tourist visa application and ask the applicant some questions. Officers almost never want to see papers that the applicant brings to an interview.
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