Showing posts from April, 2013

How to exploit waivers for ineligibility situations?

If you are depressed that you maybe ineligible for adjusting your status to RPI because you came after the cutoff date or lack the evidence to demonstrate continuous presence or you have way too many felonies or misdemeanor convictions or you used fake papers to enter the United States or you ended up making a false claim to American citizenship .  Don't just self deport because there is hope, through a sleepy provision in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 ( BSEOIM ).  In the law there are loopholes that are designed to help undocumented aliens who are not technically ineligible but still will be able to legalize .   How does this work?   The law gives the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security the power to declare that one or even all the requirements of eligibility be waived on a case by case basis.  These are waivers not just for deported aliens to return if they have family members in the United States but waive

Blue Card for DREAMers working on farms

There is less talk of DREAMers (an immigrant brought to the United States before 16th birthday) who are farmworkers because they are not out there telling passionate stories of going to college or joining the Military , but it is estimated that at least 40% of DREAMers work on farms.  The great news in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM) is that DREAMers who work on farms but are not eligible to apply as regular DREAMers maybe able to apply as farm workers, and thus, get the so-called Blue Card valid for 8 years, after which if you have worked on a farm for just 100 days each year, you get the green card .  It gets better: after just two years of having the green card, you get to apply for naturalization as a US citizen .   Am I eligible for the Blue Card?   Have you done agriculture work in the US for a minimum of 575 hours or 100 work days (a day is 5.75 hours of work) in at least 2011 and 2012 (if you have more than

How much back taxes to get RPI status?

While the Gang of Eight senators keep talking about undocumented immigrants having to pay assessed taxes before getting approved for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) legal status , the great news in the Obama Immigration Reform bill is that most likely you will not need to pay any back taxes .  The reason the politicians are making a big deal about back taxes is that it helps in selling the bill to the American public, but if you read the bill carefully, while there is talk of payment of assessed taxes , the way the law is written, you may not owe even a penny to Uncle Sam.  It would not be surprising that if you have your paperwork in order, United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might even give you a huge refund. So how come you will not need to pay any taxes?   If you have filed a tax return , whether using an ITIN or valid Social Security number or even fraudulent SSN (as long as you have a record of it because you cannot get a record from the IRS for a SS# that

Is DACA being cancelled for being unconstitutional?

When President Barack Obama launched Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for DREAMers , he did so without the approval of Congress (which makes all laws in America) and relied on two provisions that allow the President to set priorities in enforcement (to make the best use of government resources and focus on what is important) and another one that gives prosecutors some discretion in enforcing the law (that is why some times prosecutors decide not to prosecute someone).  The president pretty much has absolute power in this matter, though, legally, he can be penalized for it by Congress through impeachment.  As soon as DACA was announced , the ICE agents who believed that they were being asked to not enforce US immigration laws challenged it in court.  It seems, though, that the DACA program will be declared unconstitutional by Federal Judge Reed O’Connor because it violates American immigration laws.  What is the best case scenario?  The Government will challenge the

Can I apply for marriage green card in RPI status?

Typically the way the United States immigration laws work is that you can file multiple immigration petitions to USCIS and then take advantage of whatever petition is approved first.  You can then simply withdraw the remaining petitions.  This liberty provided to the immigrants allows them to diversify their risk and hopefully get approved faster.  Unfortunately in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM), if an undocumented alien applies to adjust status to Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) , for the duration of that status ( 5 years for the DREAMers who entered the US before the age of 16 and then 10 years for all others), he of she cannot take advantage of other paths.  For example, an undocumented alien who applies for RPI and is either while the approval is pending or has been granted, gets married to a US citizen and is eligible for adjustment to permanent resident status , will not be able to do so. While the

RPI status after self deportation

In the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM), there is a provision that aliens who were deported for being unlawfully in the United States (rather than for violent criminal activities including drug possessions, felonies , etc.) will be allowed to adjust to Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) legal status as long as they have close family members (spouse, children) who are US citizens or permanent residents.    A lot of people have written to ask me if this benefit is available even to those who left voluntarily or self-deported.  The answer is yes, because the spirit of the Obama Immigration Reform is family reunification .  As long as someone would be legally eligible to be reunited with family members in the United States , it is stupid to keep them separated, because the best families are the ones that are together, and what is good for families is good for America.  So if you are one of those foreigners who left the Unit

Fee waiver and free legal help for RPI immigrant visa

Those DREAMers who struggled to pay for DACA had a hard time getting a fee waiver , simply because it was a short-term administrative decision by President Barack Obama in an election year with strong opposition from GOP.  It would have been too much to ask Congress to also approve fee waivers, but the best news for undocumented immigrants eligible to apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) legal status is that the United States Government is not only giving away these visas with a pathway to citizenship , you may also not have to pay for legal help and fee.    A lot of charity and faith based organizations will be distributed a total of $100 million under the so-called “Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistance” (IEACA) that they can use to hire staff members to help aliens figure out if they are eligible for adjusting their status , putting together their documents, completing the application, and filing the paperwork.  Now remember that a lot of these o

Impact of Boston terrorist attacks on RPI legalization

While it maybe difficult for some undocumented immigrants to legalize if they used a different name and forged documents to enter the United States , theoretically, it is possible for an alien who entered without inspection (EWI) to eventually get United States citizenship by using whatever identity he wishes to use (there is already a big mess by undocumented aliens who have claimed to be US citizens ).  If DACA background check is an indication of what the USCIS will do during a security clearance before granting RPI immigrant status , it is very likely that terrorists can acquire American citizenship by simply using their newly acquired identities and hiding their criminal  roots.  For instance, USCIS granted DACA to immigrants with just their American high school ID and not insisting on documents like passports and birth certificates.  With massive document fraud worldwide, these criminals can get passports of other countries that do not monitor their records so well, and compl

Can DREAMers be deported prior to getting RPI status?

Obviously, DACA approved DREAMers as long as their approvals are valid (and that is why it is important for you to make sure that you apply to renew your DACA ahead of time), are immune from deportations as long as they do not commit a deportable crime (what DACA does is stop your deportation simply for being illegally present in the United States ).  It is for this reason that I have been emphasizing that if you are a DACA eligible DREAMer please do not wait to adjust your status directly to Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) and apply ASAP for DACA .  That way, not only will you get to use a streamlined process for RPI legal immigrant status , you will be able to live legally and work right away without fear of deportation (remember that till you have a legal status, you can get into trouble for just being in the US without authorization and deported never to be able to have the chance to legalize your status ). Legal experts agree that the RPI status applications proc

Is it a crime to have two ITIN numbers?

While illegal immigrants have used ITIN numbers to work illegally , pay taxes , get credit cards , buy cars/homes, etc., that is not why these numbers are given and doing so is abusing the terms of the agreement with the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) .  However, it is better to have an ITIN number and pay your taxes to Uncle Sam than to not have any number and not file your income tax return with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) .  But relax, because under the provisions of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 ( BSEOIM ), working with a false Social Security number or using your ITIN to work are forgiven, and you will be approved for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) legal status as long as you pay all the taxes, in case you have not paid them yet.  If you have paid them, just attach copies of your tax returns with the application.   Now, why would you have two ITIN numbers?  Maybe for th

Eligible for RPI status after DUI?

If you were charged with DUI (driving while intoxicated/impaired) or DWI (driving while impaired) or other related crimes like being under the influence of drugs are typically considered as misdemeanors.  Thankfully, the Obama Immigration Reform is very generous to undocumented aliens caught driving drunk, often also without a license, because if you have done so only three times, you will be approved.  Things get a lot more complicated if you actually hurt someone because then it becomes a felony (though, states have their own laws), which implies that you cannot be approved for any immigration benefit, including legalization under the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM) to the so-called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) legal status .  So check the paperwork related to your charges and make sure that it was a misdemeanor.  If it were a felony, and you were not deported, speak to an attorney.

Who can I sponsor in RPI status?

Under the provisions of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM), an immigrant granted the Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) legal status cannot sponsor a family member outside the United States.  In fact there is no provision for sponsorship, except that the principal applicant can file applications on behalf of spouse and children as derivatives as long as they are in the United States illegally .  However, once the RPI visa is converted to a green card (10 years for most immigrants and 5 years for DREAMers ), they can sponsor spouse and children.  Once you become a naturalized US citizen, you can even sponsor your parents, who can then, in turn, sponsor their other children.

Deportation after RPI status adjustment

Indeed DACA stops deportation of DREAMers for two years , if you commit a felony, you can be deported even after DACA approval .  Similarly, it does not matter that you have successfully received the Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) legal status under the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 ( BSEOIM ), if you break US laws, you will be treated more or less the same way you would be if you were an undocumented alien .  So because you were so excited about becoming legal and have become so, also learn the laws of this great land, and realize that what might be perfectly normal and acceptable in your native countries (beating people up to settle a dispute, petty crimes, DUI, drugs, domestic fights, loud music at home, etc.) are actually big problems here.  For something as (seemingly) ordinary as blasting music from your deck on a hot summer day with 50 of your drunk friends, you can be charged with fines, issued citations, and even arr

Eligible for immigration reform if entered with fake name?

Those of you who used fraudulent documents to legally enter the United States and then revered to your real name to live your life in America may have a problem to deal with, particularly if you were fingerprinted either at the point of entry or if you were fingerprinted for any other reason by law enforcement.  Also some of you assumed other identities with stolen Social Security numbers or simply switched to new names after committing a crime or to pass a background check , and I am not even talking about those who claimed to be US citizens .  Unless you have a simple history of always using your legal name, you will need a very good attorney to file your application for adjustment to RPI status because not only using fraudulent documents a crime , with multiple names, your story might not hold together to prove date of entry and continuous presence. Those of you, the DREAMers (meaning you came to the country as minors ) may not even be aware what your parents did and thankfully

Will RPI status provide in-state tuition?

While the BSEOIM specifically bans RPI status immigrants from receiving Federal student loans , the Obama Immigration Reform actually calls for the repeal of Section 505 of IIRAIRA, which bans states from giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.  Going forward, as long as you can prove that you are a resident of a particular state (the requirements vary for each state), you will be eligible for instate tuition and that can mean huge savings.  So, if you would like to go to college in a particular state but live elsewhere, this maybe a good time to plan your move there as one of the many things that you need to do in order to plan for your preparation for adjusting to RPI status .

What will happen to DACA after immigration reform?

The main reason I have been screaming that you should apply for DACA whether immigration reform becomes law or not is that you come out a winner no matter what.  It would be the best investment of a few hundred dollars that you ever made.  You see, if Obama Immigration Reform bill becomes law, you get to choose a streamlined process to adjust to RPI legal immigrant status , which means money and time saved (once you get your new RPI card, you will be ordered to surrender your EAD card).  If Republicans kill the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 ( BSEOIM ), you will at least have an EAD and valid SSN , plus an option to renew your DACA, at least during the tenure of President Barack Obama.  If the bill fails in 2013, most likely it will be an issue during the 2014 mid-term elections and assuming Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives, the bill will be reintroduced in 2015 and pass.  While all this is going on, you will stil

When can DREAMers apply for RPI status adjustment?

Well, my first piece of advice would be that if you meet the requirements Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and were actually trying to decide between applying for DACA or waiting for Obama Immigration Reform , the choice has now been made for you: apply for DACA now because DACA approved DREAMers will not only be approved in just about 6-8 months at the most, they will follow a more streamlined process for adjustment to RPI legal immigrant status .  It is important to realize that the dedicated staff for DACA makes the process fairly simple right now.  On the other hand, applying for legalization under Immigration Reform bill called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM) , you will be in the same line as anyone else, and when millions of people apply, expect massive delays and years of waiting.  However, having a DACA approval in your hand right now, you will have a right to legal work and a valid Social Securit

Get RPI status if arrived after cutoff date passed

Like any other immigration amnesty, the Obama Immigration Reform has a cut off deadline of 31st December in the year 2011.  Whether you entered the country legally or simply crossed the border illegally by foot from Mexico, you will need a pretty reliable evidence of being in the US on or before that date.  What if you came after that date?  It seems it will be impossible to legalize to Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) legal status under the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM) .  But, there is no need to worry that demand for undocumented workers is going away.  On the contrary, as legalized immigrants fight for high paying jobs, there will be a lot more openings for employees without papers willing to work for low wages, simply because American employers are addicted to cheap labor and will not be able to afford higher wages that legal workers will demand.  The only downside that you will continue to be an illegal immigr

Can DREAMers use employment records for RPI status?

Do you remember how the USCIS initially said that DREAMers and their employers were not immune from prosecution for working illegally or hiring undocumented workers ?  In the RPI Immigration bill , it is clearly stated that when immigrants use their work records as evidence for their adjustment applications , they cannot be charged with such crimes as identity theft or Social Security fraud for using forged Social Security cards or just making up SSN .  Similarly, when employers issue copies of their work history or write a letter stating that an immigrant was an employee in their workplace, they will not be charged with breaking the law.  The only word of caution is that if you signed an I-9 form before the age of 18 and checked the US citizenship box , you maybe charged with false claim to US citizenship and in that case, you should discuss this issue with an attorney, because even if you choose to not submit that I9 form , the USCIS can subpoena that.

Is there an age limit for DREAMers for immigration reform?

It must be acknowledged that the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM) is particularly kind to DREAMers , undocumented aliens who arrived before their 16th birthday to the United States .  Unlike the past versions of the DREAM Act that had upper age limits (even DACA had an age limit and that stopped many aged out DREAMers from applying ), the Obama Immigration Reform extends those privileges to all of them and that means that these childhood arrivals get a green card in just five years and citizenship immediately after that.  You just need to make sure that you have solid evidence of your date of birth, arrival date in the United States, and obviously, meet other requirements for RPI status adjustment .

Do DREAMers get student aid after RPI?

DREAMers who get approved for RPI status get a lot of benefits , but the so-called Federal Student Aid is not one of them, because it is expected that until they become permanent residents they should not receive any Federal benefits.  For those DREAMers who just happen to be in that age bracket that the perfect time to go to college is that five year window, it would mean that they will have to seek loans from elsewhere or invest their own funds.  Going to college is expensive but there are other financial options available and you will need to look for them more diligently.  If it still does not work for you, the great thing about America is that there really is no set time to be in college; you can do that at any age.  So if you cannot attend college during the Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) legal status , just wait to become a LPR and citizen , and then do it.  That way, you can borrow money with much more generous terms.

What will the RPI status card look like?

There has been some confusion about what type of document an undocumented alien approved for the Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) legal status under the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIM) will receive.  You will be issued a high-tech, tamper proof, secure smart card, similar to a green or LPR card (there is no plan to actually paste a document in your passport -- they are typically given to short-term visitors or nonimmigrants and referred to as visas) so when you check in at an overseas airport to take a flight headed to the US, you will present both your passport and the RPI card as proof that you have a permit to enter the United States ).    All the information related to your identity and legal immigration status (such as full legal name, Social Security number , A#, date of birth, country of origin, legal status, expiration date, etc.) will be scrambled and embedded in this card and can be downloaded by a reader

What status will undocumented aliens have during RPI application process?

Unless you are a DACA approved DREAMer authorized to work (that is why I strongly suggest that anyone eligible to apply for DACA should do so) and even travel overseas with restrictions , all other undocumented immigrants who apply to adjust to Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) legal status under the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 , will have no lawful status while their applications are being processed by the USCIS .  In other words, during this waiting period, they will not be able to work legally or travel overseas or apply for driver's licenses or do any of the other things that RPI immigrants will be allowed to do .  This means that they will have to continue to live a life of an illegal immigrant but as soon as the Obama Immigration Reform becomes law , chances are that except for deportable offenses , immigrants will not be harassed just for being illegally in the country.  And considering how many immigrants have to

Am I eligible for RPI immigration visa if I worked illegally?

The great news about the Obama Comprehensive Immigration Reform (officially called as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 ) is that undocumented aliens who worked without authorization using a fake Social Security number or were paid in cash under the table are not going to be penalized for these crimes.  The only problem is if you actually made a false claim to US citizenship after the age of 18 .  Other than that, if you worked without papers and paid taxes , you will not be charged with any crimes, and instead, will be approved for a Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) legal status , that subsequently leads to a green card, and after that naturalization to United States citizen .  If you did not pay taxes, it will not disqualify you either; you will just need to pay all the back taxes before approval.

Will DREAMers be able to join Military after RPI status?

In addition to all the other great benefits of RPI legal immigration status , the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 stipulates that a DREAMer granted the Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) legal status can enlist in the US armed forces.  While the DREAMers are already on a fast track to green card and naturalization , it is important to remember that immigrants who are military personnel have other privileges and fee waivers when applying for immigration benefits like naturalization.  It seems that as long as DREAMers meet the requirements of the US Military, they should be able to join, though, individuals with misdemeanors might have to contend with somewhat different standards that those of the USCIS.

False claim to US citizenship by DREAMers

Under the United States immigration laws, one of the biggest crimes a non-US citizen (whether legal or illegal) can do is to claim to be an American citizen , and thus, gain benefits and privileges reserved exclusively for citizens, like voting or applying for loans or getting into college, etc.  Unfortunately, a huge number of illegal immigrants who came as children have broken this law.  All immigration petitions can be denied based on this admission by an alien, and it is no surprise that the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 also explicitly restates this.  It turns out that not only did these so-called DREAMers did so, there is a huge paper trail documenting their behavior. How will the USCIS find out that you made a fraudulent claim to be an American citizen? Legally speaking, while filing the application for RPI status , there will be a specific question asking if you have ever claimed to be a United States citizen, and you only

Docs needed by DREAMers for RPI status without DACA approval

Based on my understanding of how the legalization process works for other similar visas issued by the US Government, here is a tentative list of documents that you may start to compile, so that when the USCIS starts accepting visa applications , all you need to do is to fill the application.  Remember that if you are a DREAMer with DACA approval in hand the list of documents needed is quite different. Valid passport .  Since many countries have a broken process of serving their own citizens, and there will be a surge of applications (Mexican DREAMers, take note) in coming months, you should apply for one right away. Birth certificate .  It might also come handy if you cannot get a passport. If you have had legal troubles , compile the documents related to the court case .  Approach the attorneys involved in the case or the courts you attended to get copies of the documentation.  DO NOT even think you can hide criminal behavior of any kind because having a criminal background

Documents needed by DACA approved DREAMers to get RPI Status

For the purpose of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, a DREAMer is defined as an alien who entered the United States before the 16th birthday and meets other requirements related to education and having a crime-free background.  For these persons to take advantage of the RPI status , which after five years will lead to a green card, and an immediate path to US citizenship , the process is going to work somewhat differently for those DREAMers who have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and those who either were not eligible for DACA or refused to apply for it. Proof required to apply for RPI visa by DACA approved DREAMers --> Since the DACA approved DREAMers have already provided most of the information needed by the USCIS, they will be grandfathered into the new process.  Obviously, the exact details of this streamlined process are not yet known, but it is expected that DACA approved candidates will

How will DREAMers get green cards under Obama Amnesty?

Thankfully, some of the provisions of DREAM Act are being revived in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.  That means that the RPI status for DREAMers works differently.  In summary, as soon as they have been in this legal status for five years, they apply for adjustment of status to permanent resident (commonly called a green card).  This time period is 10 years for all other undocumented aliens.  The shorter period for DREAMers is being given to them as a recognition of their strong ties to America and with a consideration that they were children when they were forced by their parents into a criminal situation for which they should not be punished.  Those who want to be categorized as DREAMers, in addition to coming to the US before their 15th birthday, must obtain a high school diploma or equivalent, and pursue higher education or serve in the military. Of course, DREAMers will need to meet some requirements in order to apply fo

Will immigrants in removal proceedings be allowed to apply for RPI?

While only a selected group of illegal immigrants who were deported will be eligible for adjustment of status to RPI , the good news in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 is that anyone without papers who has received removal orders or is already in removal proceedings will be allowed to apply.  They will need to provide information on their deportation orders and as soon as they apply, their deportation will be put on hold, they will receive a work permit and authentic Social Security number , and will be able to go on with their lives like any other undocumented alien.  The paperwork related to removal will be cleared from the record once they are approved as a Registered Provision Immigrant .

Can immigrants who left or were deported get Obama Amnesty?

Generally speaking, amnesties require you to meet the continuous presence eligibility requirement and so is the case for RPI visa legal status , but in case of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, there is one exception on humanitarian grounds so that families are not separated .  What it means is that if an immigrant was deported for non-criminal reasons (like driving without a license or working without authorization) he or she can apply to re-enter the United States in RPI status if they are the spouse of or parent of a child who is United States citizen or lawful permanent resident or a DREAMer .  The process, obviously, will work a little different for those aliens who are outside the USA, because they will not be able to enter the country before they are approved.  This provision cannot be used to bring family members who were never in the USA nor can it be used if they were not married at the time of deportation (meaning that yo

What are the benefits of RPI status?

Despite the fact that undocumented aliens legalized with the Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) legal status will not be able to claim welfare or Obamacare or some other benefits available only to US citizens and green card holders, the list of privileges and advantages is huge: Work permit with a valid Social Security number that will allow them to work for any employer in the United States.  Travel anywhere in the world, though, like any green card holder, they will need to keep strong ties to the United States.  In other words, they cannot be away for too long and will need to maintain a house here, pay taxes, and return within six months.  Obviously, no need to file for an advanced parole before leaving. Receive all other privileges like applying for a driver's license, other specialized licenses like those for nursing, etc. Apply for credit cards , open bank accounts, buy insurance, purchase homes/cars, and almost any other actions that are needed to live the Ameri

How will a family apply for RPI status?

The best part of “Registered Provision Immigrant” (RPI) legal status is that one of the illegal immigrants in the family can assume the role of a principal applicant for Obama Amnesty under the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 .  If this person has a spouse and/or children who are also in the United States without papers , they can all apply as derivatives of the principal applicant, meaning that they will be able to file their applications as a packet and receive discounts on the application fees .  This will also simplify the process because tracking the application or attending any in-person interviews at a local USCIS office or other matters can be dealt as a group.  I must emphasize that all the members of the family must meet all the eligibility requirements of RPI legal status , meaning that they should be in the United States as well.  Until someone receives a green card, they will not be able to sponsor family members who are ov

How will the RPI status work for DREAMers?

As per provisions of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, the adjustment of status to “Registered Provision Immigrant” (RPI) will work slightly differently.  Obviously in order to become legal the eligibility requirements for RPI visa are the same for all immigrants without papers , but for those illegal immigrants in the United States who entered the country when they were minors (essentially arrived as children, or before their 15th birthday), there is no need to pay the $500 penalty .  There will also be a fee exemption for minor DREAMers when they apply as a family.  The best part is that DREAMer students only need to be in the RPI status for just five years, after which they will be eligible to apply for permanent resident status or what is popularly known as receiving a green card.  Things get even better for DREAMers: the day they get approved for permanent residency, they will be able to file for naturalization .  So in the mos

Apply for DACA with married name

Stella writes, "I got married to another illegal immigrant in the United States and I want to use my husband's last name except none of my ID have it.  Should I just keep using my maiden name or can I file with my husband's surname?" If you have no ID (like a valid passport) that shows your new name and you have not changed your name officially in your native country (for example, having the evidence in form of a court order), you cannot yet use your married name at this time.  Basically if you want to use your married name you first have to do the paperwork in your country (it will depend on your native country's laws on what paperwork needs to be done), get a new passport with the married name, and only then you will be able to use it in immigration benefits applications in the United States.  I suggest that right now you get your DACA application going with the maiden name to keep things simple but start the process in your native country to change your na

IRS rejects taxes by DACA approved DREAMers using a fake SSN

Several DREAMers are reporting that for the work they did prior to being approved for DACA and getting their legal Social Security number, when they filed taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), while they received their tax refund on time, they got a letter from the agency asking to correct the mistake due to a mismatch of the SS# and name on the W-2 form . So what has happened here?  Well, while it is mandatory to file taxes by everyone , this is essentially a big mess for which the IRS and SSA have no process to deal with.  When an illegal immigrant who uses someone else's SS# or a made up number to work and then file taxes , the IRS often does not have the resources to deal with the confusing situation.  It might send letters about the errors to whatever addresses it has on file but some undocumented aliens have been able to fool the system by also getting refunds and literally creating an identity in the IRS databases. Unfortunately, this system gets totally con

Can DACA approved DREAMers be deported for committing crimes?

You see the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program designed to help DREAMers from being deported for being in the country illegally , which by itself alone is a deportable offense.  What it does not do is to stop deportation for other criminal acts.  That is why in the eligibility requirements for DACA an applicant should not have committed felonies.  Needless to say that if a DACA approved DREAMers commits a felony after approval, deportation is guaranteed, along with a permanent bar to enter the United States.  You may also want to know that even permanent residents are deported if they commit a felony.

Is Social Security Number for DACA different?

The Social Security Administration has a system for assigning SSN .  When a DREAMer or illegal/legal alien is assigned a new number , it is no different than a number assigned at birth to a US citizen except that for those immigrants who are not authorized to be in the country permanently, their authorization to work is contingent upon authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) .  In other words, if you do not have a valid visa to be in the US, even if you have your very own Social Security card with your own legal SS#, it is not valid as far as employment is concerned.  In summary, you can use your SSN to go on with your life like anyone else and once you have this number, that is the only number you should use (typically anyone who needs your Social will ask for it).  You can use this number to apply for a driver's license, open bank accounts, apply for loans/credit cards, etc.

Is it legal for an employer to fire you for updating you SSN?

In the United States an individual can be fired for no reason because we are nation of at-will employment.  Indeed, there are instances where this can be challenged, but they are few and extremely difficult to contest in a court.  So for a DREAMer who started working with a false Social Security number and then tried to change SS# after being approved for DACA , unless the employer is accommodating and understands your situation, what you have done is to demonstrate to your employer that you lied when you started to work and provided forged documents (so it is not the employer who did anything illegal but it is you who broke the law by working illegally  - do not even think about trying to sue your employer because you don't have a case).  Do not forget that it is a crime for an employer to hire illegal workers so your employer is obviously concerned about charges of breaking the law, but more importantly, an employee who lied and submitted fake papers is generally not welcome at