Archive for the 'Dreamer Work Permit' Category

What is the difference between an employment authorization document and a greencard?




What is the difference between an employment authorization document and a greencard?

Immigration attorney answers your questions about work permits and greencards

What is the difference between an employment authorization document and a greencard?



What is the difference between an employment authorization document (EAD or work permit) and a greencard (lawful permanent residence)?

Earlier this week, a client’s question took me completely by surprise. The client said to me, if I have a work permit, why do I need a greencard? Sometimes, as an immigration lawyer, I forget to discuss some of the basic benefits and drawbacks of a client’s current status and the benefits and drawbacks of obtaining a greencard or naturalization. The differences between a work permit and a greencard are very important and certainly worthy of your attention.

A work permit is merely a TEMPORARY card that allows you to work legally in the U.S. temporarily. You cannot obtain a work permit by itself. A work permit is a benefit of some sort of underlying status.

For example, you cannot come to the U.S. and simply apply for a work permit just because you want to work in the U.S., you have to have an underlying right to obtain a work permit, some sort of employment visa or other ground. Accordingly, when the basis for your work permit finishes, your work permit also terminates. For example, if you have an employment visa and your visa expires, your work permit (which was obtained on the basis of that visa) also expires and you are left without the ability to work in the U.S.

By contrast, with a greencard, you are always allowed to work legally in the U.S. Your greencard is valid for ten years but even if the greencard card itself expires you are still considered a lawful permanent resident (“greencard holder”).

While a work permit is temporary, a greencard is considered permanent (note, it is possible to lose your greencard if you abandon the U.S., commit certain crimes, consider yourself a nonresident for tax purposes, or other grounds). A greencard is considered permanent because you will have it indefinitely unless you do something wrong deserving of losing it. This is in contrast to a work permit, which will terminate when the underlying basis expires.

Additionally, a work permit does not give you a basis to apply for naturalization (U.S. Citizenship). You must first be a lawful permanent resident (greencard holder) to apply for naturalization. Only U.S. Citizens can vote and unlike both holders of work permits and greencards, U.S. citizens generally can never be deported from the U.S. Again, only lawful permanent residents have the ability to qualify for naturalization, being the holder of a mere work permit is not enough.

For any questions, call us at (916) 613-3553 so that we can schedule a consultation.

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Published by: The Ranchod Law Group





















Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals


Publisher:
Abstract: Recently, several individuals with certain criminal convictions have contacted our offices with a concern as to their eligibility for benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) based on their prior criminal history. According to the DACA there are three specific groups under which an applicant would not be eligible.


“Significant Misdemeanor”


Author:

Applicants for Benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Recently, several individuals with certain criminal convictions have contacted our offices with a concern as to their eligibility for benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) based on their prior criminal history.

For their information, the DACA rules categorized three specific groups under which an applicant with a criminal past would not be eligible for DACA benefits as a matter of law. These three groups are:

Group 1: is composed by those individuals who have been convicted of any type of felony. For immigration purposes, a felony is a federal, estate, or local offense punishable by a term of imprisonment for one year or more;

Group 2: is composed by those individuals who have been convicted of any of the “significant misdemeanors”, regardless of the sentence imposed: the significant misdemeanors are:

  • domestic violence;
  • sexual abuse;
  • sexual exploitation;
  • burglary;
  • unlawful possession of a firearm;
  • unlawful use of a firearm;
  • drug distribution;
  • drug trafficking
  • driving under the influence of drugs.

Group 3: is composed by those individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor not listed under the second group, listed above, but who were sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days.

Self-applicants share a common confusion when reading the DACA guidelines found in the USCIS’s website, which refer to “Non-significant Misdemeanor” offenses. This confusion possibly arises from the fact that the “Non-significant Misdemeanor” column also lists the same type of offenses listed under the “Significant Misdemeanor” column. A Non-significant Misdemeanor is essentially a conviction for a crime not listed under the second or third groups.

So, if your crime is one not listed in group two, and you were sentenced to time in custody of less than 90 days, you are eligible to apply for DACA benefits.

Warning!

The DACA regulations, confer discretionary authority to Service Officials to look at the facts surrounding a non-significant misdemeanor before rendering a decision on an applicant’s case: in other words, even if an applicant is eligible because the crime does not render the applicant absolutely ineligible for DACA benefits, the Service may still deny it at the Service’s discretion. Therefore, it is important that applicants with any type of criminal conviction consult with an experienced legal professional before submitting their applications for DACA benefits.

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The Ranchod Law Group

Experienced Professionals with a focus on Immigration and I-601 Hardship Waivers, with Offices in Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Francisco. Contact us today for more information on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The Ranchod Law Group
8880 Cal Center Drive #400
Sacramento,
CA
95826
United States
Phone: (916) 613-3553
Email:info@ranchodlaw.com
The Ranchod Law Group
3333 Bowers Avenue Suite 130
Santa Clara,
CA
95054
United States
Phone: (408) 844-9197
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Email:info@ranchodlaw.com
The Ranchod Law Group
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CA
94102
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Phone: (415) 986-6186
Fax: (888) 891-7071
Email:info@ranchodlaw.com






How the Dream Act Would Generate Revenue for the U.S.

The federal DREAM Act would generate $329 billion for the United States through 2030. California alone would see a $97.7 billion increase in revenue. These statistics come from an October 2012 study by the Center for American Progress, an independent, non-partisan educational institute, and the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders from across the United States.

California is currently home to 550,000 individuals who could become citizens if the DREAM Act were passed. The state has more undocumented immigrants who are eligible to be DREAMers than any other state. The state would see the economic benefit from a rise in increased consumer spending, wages, taxes, and access to better jobs. The state would gain approximately 384,000 jobs and approximately $3.37 billion in taxes. California might also see more of an increase in 2013. Next year, the state will begin making grants and scholarships for higher education available to eligible undocumented immigrants.

The DREAM Act would encourage undocumented immigrants who have grown up and received a high school education or performed military service in the U.S. to remain in the country. The DREAM Act is projected to provide 2.1 billion young adults with a path to legal status. Many DREAMers speak English, are familiar with American culture, and have family members in the U.S. DREAMers with legal status are more likely to become entrepreneurs or help family members develop small businesses.

DREAMers with legal status would have work permits and access to federal funding for higher education. These tools would help them increase their earning potential. The study states that DREAMers with legal status are expected to contribute high amounts in taxable income. They would shrink the amount of tax dollars spent on public health and benefits.

DREAMers with legal status are likely to open bank accounts, buy homes, and demonstrate stable patterns of consumer spending. They are also expected to continue their education after high school and pay their own tuition.

If the total number of DREAMers were deported, California and the U.S. would lose billions in diminished earnings, consumption, and demand.

AB-540 Students and permanent residency: What’s the Affidavit Requirement About?

If you are an undocumented immigrant who attended high school in California and want to attend a California public community college, college, or university, you may qualify to be an AB-540 student.

An AB-540 student is eligible to pay in-state tuition rather than out-of-state tuition in schools belonging to the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges systems. One of the requirements to be an AB-540 student is that you must file or plan to file an affidavit with the institution you attend. The affidavit must state that you will apply for legal residency as soon as possible.

If you are considering a path to permanent residency or citizenship, think of talking to a qualified immigration lawyer. Becoming a legal resident may make you eligible to receive scholarships, grants, student loans, and other types of financial aid, such as federal work-study jobs. This can help you lighten the financial burden while you are in school. It will also minimize the amount of debt that you will have after graduation. There is a big difference between planning for applying for legal residency and actually making steps toward that goal. Even if it takes months or years to change your status, the progress you make may lead to your becoming a legal resident upon graduation. If you are a legal resident, you will likely be much more attractive to employers.

An affidavit is a written declaration made upon an oath to a person authorized to administer an oath. An AB-540 affidavit usually consists of a written, sworn statement made to a college admissions office staff member. An affidavit may ask you to provide the name of the California high school that you attended, the dates that you attended, and your name, address, student ID number, and signature. California law does not allow the college or university to share information on the affidavit with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

If you have applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), note that a DACA application is not a step toward legal residency.

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What’s New with DACA-Dreamer Work Permit

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which took effect August 15, remains in place. As of October 12, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted deferred action to almost 4,600 individuals.

Most of the applications are coming from California. California is home to a number of enacted and proposed measures that support those eligible for DACA. On September 30, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing those eligible for DACA to apply for driver’s licenses. Many other states, such as Michigan, will not allow those eligible for DACA to apply for driver’s licenses.

The Los Angeles City Counsel is considering creating a city photo identification card to help undocumented immigrants get access to banking services. Several California cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, allow any individual who can prove residency to receive an identification card, regardless of immigration status.

The processing time for DACA applications is faster than expected. As of October 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 120,000 applications. This is less than half of the total number (300,000) USCIS planned to process by that time.

Several California school districts and county offices of education, including the San Mateo County Office of Education, created webpages or opened centers to issue transcripts for DACA applications.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defined DACA applicants and those granted deferred status through DACA as individuals not having a “lawful presence” in the U.S. Consequently, DACA applicants and those granted deferred status are ineligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Undocumented students remain eligible for University of California application fee waivers, but ineligible for CSU application fee waivers. Whitman College, a private liberal arts college in Washington state, became one of the first private colleges to cover application fees for undocumented students.  Contact our office at 415-986-6186 to learn more about your DACA options.

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Pros and Cons of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – Dreamer Work Permit

There are numerous pros and cons to filing for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). The most significant advantage is the possibility of obtaining a 2-year renewable work permit. Individuals not eligible for DACA must pay a $380 filing fee for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which only lasts for one year.

A work permit can open a number of doors. Some states, such as California, provide individuals granted a work permit with the opportunity to apply for a driver’s license. Individuals granted a work permit are also more likely to be able to obtain auto insurance and a Social Security card.
Many colleges and universities require students to have a Social Security card to register for classes and be eligible for in-state tuition. A Social Security card is useful when applying for a student loan. Some states require individuals to have a Social Security card to apply for and maintain licenses or certifications for professions such as a nurse or contractor.
If you are granted deferred action, you may request permission to travel outside the U.S. for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes.  Before travelling outside of the United States on advance parole you should consult with an attorney to ensure that you will be able reenter the United States.  Additionally it is extremely important to note that after August 15, 2012, if you travel outside the United States, you will not be considered for deferred action; thus you should only consider travelling outside of the United States after you are granted deferred action.
A significant disadvantage of filing is the possibility that a president could change immigration policy and revoke grants of deferred action and work permits.
Under current immigration policy, there is also the danger that if you have or get a criminal conviction while your application is being considered or there is evidence that you committed fraud in your application, DHS will refer your case to ICE. You should not apply for deferred action if you have a significant misdemeanor conviction, or a felony.
Lastly, there is no right to appeal a decision made by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If USCIS makes a mistake and you cannot identify and correct the mistake, you could be deported.
For a free consultation regarding applying for DACA call our office at 415-986-6186.

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Documenting Residency Requirements for Deferred Action – Dreamer Work Permit

Filing for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) requires that you document residency requirements. You must show that you came to the U.S. before the age of 16, have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 up to the present time, and were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of filing your application for deferred action.
A “proof of presence” demonstration requires you to submit rent receipts or utility bills; employment records such as pay stubs or W-2 forms; school records such as letters, or report cards; military records from the U.S. military such as Form DD-214 or NGB Form 22; official records from a religious entity confirming participation in a religious ceremony such as a marriage; copies of money order receipts for money sent in or out of the country; passport entries; birth certificates of children born in the U.S.; dated bank transactions such as records of deposits, withdrawals, or opening of accounts; a copy of a Social Security card; automobile license receipts or registration; deeds, mortgages, and rental agreement contracts; and tax receipts and insurance policies.
The best records are ones that contain your name, signature, photograph, or any combination of these. If you have changed names or used aliases, submit records of the name changes and documents that indicate that you used a certain alias during a set period.
A brief departure from the U.S. does not interrupt the continuous residence requirement. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that brief departures be casual and innocent. Brief departures that indicate a person has serious committments in another country or relate to an illegal purpose may make you ineligible for deferred action. When you discuss a brief departure in your application, note that USCIS is looking to see that the absence was short; for a legal purpose; reasonably calculated to accomplish a specific purpose; not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal; and not because of an order of voluntary departure or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before placement in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings.
Call our office in San Francisco or Sacramento at 415-986-6186 to find out if you qualify for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

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Non-Significant Misdemeanor

If you are applying for deferred action for childhood arrivals, you cannot have committed a “significant misdemeanor.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) holds that any individual who has been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety is not eligible for deferment.

USCIS guidelines maintain an offense is a significant misdemeanor if it is defined as a misdemeanor by federal law and could cause you to remain in state or federal prison or a county jail for between five days and one year. A significant misdemeanor is one that involves any of the following accusations or charges: domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence. A few examples of significant misdemeanors are carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, failure to report a known or suspected case of sexual misconduct, and violation of a restraining order involving domestic violence. A few examples of non-significant misdemeanors are possession of drug paraphernalia, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and trespass.

USCIS guidelines further state that an offense is a significant misdemeanor if the sentence is for more than 90 days in custody. Time for suspended sentences or time that an individual is held in immigration detention does not count toward the 90-day period.

The “three or more non-significant misdemeanors” rule seems complicated, but is actually simple. An individual applying for deferred action cannot have committed three or more non-significant misdemeanors that are separate from one another. Non-significant misdemeanors are separate when they did not occur on the same day and did not arise out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct. For example, if an individual was driving recklessly, with a suspended license, and was stopped by the police, he would later be charged and convicted of two non-significant misdemeanors. These offenses occurred on the same day and arose out of the same act. If an individual was stopped on four different occasions: the first day for driving recklessly, the second day for fleeing from an officer, the third day for driving with a suspended license, and the fourth day for falsifying a disabled-person permit, he would later be charged and convicted of four non-significant misdemeanors. These offenses did not occur on the same day and arise out of the same act. The individual convicted of two non-significant misdemeanors would be eligible to apply for deferred action. The individual convicted of four non-significant misdemeanors would not be eligible to apply for deferred action.

USCIS does not consider a minor traffic offense, such as driving without a valid license, as a non-significant misdemeanor that counts toward the “three or more non-significant misdemeanors.” USCIS does not treat an immigration-related offense that a state characterizes as a felony or misdemeanor as disqualifying. An example of such an offense is a violation of Arizona S.B. 1070. USCIS considers expunged and juvenile convictions on a case-by-case basis.

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Requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA – Dreamer Work Permit)

As of August 15, 2012, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting requests for consideration for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). An individual should submit a request with a form requesting an employment authorization document. Forms and instructions will be available on the USCIS website on August 15 at: http://www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals. There is a $465 filing fee per person.

USCIS requires that an individual filing for deferred action submit evidence showing the individual:

  • was born after June 15, 1981;
  • arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16;
  • has continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 up to the present time;
  • was present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or the individual’s lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • is currently in school, has graduated or received a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general educational development certificate (GED), or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces;
  • and is at least 15 years of age at the time of filing, if the individual has never been the subject of a removal proceeding and the individual’s case was not terminated before this request.

An individual can request deferred action if he or she is currently in removal proceedings, has been issued a final removal order, or has a voluntary departure order. An individual does not need to be 15 years of age or older to be considered if any of the above are true. An individual should submit a copy of the removal order or any document issued by the immigration judge or final decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). An individual who is in immigration detention cannot request deferred action.

If an individual has left the U.S. for a short period of time, USCIS may consider the absence “brief, casual, and innocent.” Such an absence is not deemed to interrupt the requirement of having continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007. USCIS has particular requirements for these types of absences. Please read the USCIS information sheet at: http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Resources/daca.pdf to learn more.

USCIS will conduct a biographic and biometric background check of all individuals who apply for deferred action. Each individual is considered on a case-by-case basis. An individual will be rejected if he or she has been convicted of any felony, a significant misdemeanor offense, three or more misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, or if he or she is deemed to pose a threat to national security or public safety.

USCIS currently does not offer an appeal or motion to reconsider the denial of a request. If a request is granted, the individual in question will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the U.S. for two years. An individual whose request has been granted may request an extension of both deferred action and employment authorization after two years.

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Obama Announces the Dreamer Work Permit – Deferred Action

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised as I learned of President Obama’s announcement regarding deferred action – the Dreamer Work Permit. Yes it’s true: Obama has announced that deferred action will be offered to individuals who meet the following criteria:

This new policy may also allow you to obtain a work permit if you meet the criteria below

  1. You must have come to the United States before the Age of 16
  2. You are currently going to school; have a high school diploma or GED;
  3. You currently have not been convicted of a felony offense; multiple misdemeanor offenses; or a significant misdemeanors;
  4. You must not be above the age of 30;
  5. You must have resided in the United States five years prior to June 15, 2012.

This is an exciting time in history for our country. For the last eleven years that I have been practicing immigration law I have had to tell hundreds of prospective clients that there was “no relief available” because of our broken immigration system. With this new policy many of you who were brought to the United States when you were a child, know the United States as your only home, will finally have the opportunity to come out of the shadows.

Call us at 415-986-6186 or email us at info@ranchodlaw.com if you have more questions. We will continue to keep you informed of the latest developments regarding the new “dreamer work permit”.

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