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Biden DACA update 2024

The Biden Administration has recently announced that it will allow non-U.S. spouses and children of U.S. citizens who last entered the U.S. without a valid immigration status, to apply for permanent residence without leaving the country.  To be eligible, an individual must have resided in the United States for at least the past ten (10) years and meet certain other criteria.  The United States Department of Homeland Security notes that this change in policy will protect approximately 500,000 spouses and 50,000 children of U.S. citizens from removal.  

This will prevent the separation of families during the permanent resident application process by allowing eligible individuals to remain in the U.S. while filing for permanent resident status, instead of applying abroad.  Previously, such individuals were required to depart the U.S. and file a waiver seeking to remove the bar to their readmission to the U.S. while they filed their permanent resident application.  If the waiver, which was up to the discretion of U.S. Customs and Border Protection was not granted, the individual may be permanently barred from entering the U.S. and separated from their family.

Paul H. Schultz, Esquire, partner at Leonard Sciolla and Chair of the firm’s immigration practice commented that “this new policy guidance from the Biden Administration keeps families together as they navigate through the permanent resident application process for their loved one.  Non-U.S. spouses who enter the U.S. with valid immigration status and then overstay after it expires have long been able to remain in the United States when applying for permanent resident status.  The new policy provides consistent treatment for non-U.S. spouses in these two categories and removes uncertainty from the process.” 

Need help or know someone in need of navigating this process? Contact Paul H Schultz at Leonard Sciolla, LLP for assistance.

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