How a New Federal Initiative Could Substantially Benefit ‘DREAMers’ Seeking Visas

Earlier this month, the Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced two new initiatives related to immigrants. One is tailored toward expediting the work visa process for college degree-holding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients (“DREAMers”) who graduated from U.S. colleges and universities. The other is designed to help undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens in their pursuit of legal status. The new initiatives are yet another reminder that the law regarding DREAMers is fluid and evolves frequently. As you pursue your work visa, it is wise to retain a knowledgeable Maryland immigration lawyer who is fully up-to-date on the latest changes related to DACA and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

One initiative will purportedly expedite the process for DREAMers with college degrees from accredited U.S. colleges/universities and have qualifying job offers. To access the new policy, the offer must be: (1) from a U.S. employer and (2) be in a field related to the applicant’s university major. Additionally, the applicant must “otherwise qualify for the nonimmigrant visa they are applying for.”

If the applicant meets these criteria, he/she could be eligible for a Section 212(d)(3) waiver. Section 212(d)(3) allows federal immigration authorities, on a discretionary basis, to waive most grounds of inadmissibility. This part of the new initiative involves providing enhanced clarity regarding waiver eligibilities, processes, and procedures under Section 212(d)(3).

These waivers have been available to DREAMers previously, but the processes, procedures, and eligibility standards were murky. According to the U.S. State Department, the new “policy will clarify when consular officers should consider recommending [Section 212(d)(3)] waivers so that individuals and employers can make informed decisions and streamline the process so that those who qualify can get to work quickly.”

‘Parole in Place’

The federal government’s new policy regarding undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens would allow undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens to apply for “parole in place.” This practice would give the applicant spouse or child three years to obtain legal status. Previously, the spouse or child had to return to their home country and apply for status there. In some cases, those spouses/children were barred from reentering the U.S. for 10 years.

To be eligible for the parole-in-place program, the applicant spouse or child must be undocumented and must have been in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024. They must have never been legally admitted or paroled into the country. They must be legally married to a U.S. citizen, must have no criminal past that disqualifies them, and must not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

For many of us, having our immediate family physically together is enormously important. Doing that when your spouse or children are undocumented is often complicated and fraught with potential legal landmines. To ensure your family members can be together here in the U.S., you need to talk to an experienced Maryland family visa attorney. At the law firm of Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC, we have the in-depth knowledge and extensive first-hand experience your family needs to navigate this often intricate and complex process. Contact us today at 301-519-2801 or via our online form to set up your consultation to find out more about how we can assist you.

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