Did you know that there are others things one may be able to apply for besides Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals? That’s right; Deferred Action is not the only thing out there. I know, big shock huh? Not a lot of people are talking about what else is out there so I hope this helps out a bit.
Besides Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals there are many visas and programs that are even better than DACA because, if accepted, they would put the applicant on a path to citizenship.
There is this program titled, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status(SIJS). These are the requirements one must meet to apply for SIJS:
- one must be an immigrant present in the United States
- Who is under age 21 at the time the SIJ petition is filed
- Who is unmarried;
- Who has been declared dependent on a Juvenile Court located in the United States (in New York State this is family court); or whom a Juvenile Court has legally committed to or placed under the custody of, an agency or department of a state.
- Whose reunification with one or both of the applicant’s parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis.
- For whom it has been determined in administrative or judicial proceedings that it would NOT be in your best interest to be returned to your country of nationality or country of last residence.
So, dear reader, if you meet all of these things there’s a chance YOU MAY QUALIFY for SIJS. If you think you may qualify, feel free to call us and we can help you find the necessary resources.
There are also many types of visas one may be able to apply for. There are many, and since I am not an attorney I may not be aware of all of them. Please consider coming to one of our deferred action legal clinics to speak with an attorney for free. If you are already working with an attorney, ask them about all these paths and see what can work for you.
A U-Visa is a visa given to a victim of a crime who helped catch the person who committed the crime. Here are some of the requirements:
- Must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to a criminal activity.
- What qualifies as a crime for a U-visa? Rape, torture, trafficking, incest, domestic violence, sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, hostage situations, peonage, false imprisonment, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder, felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes.
- All petitions must include information on how the victim can assist government officials in learning more about the crime including investigation and/or prosecution of the individual(s) that committed the crime.
- The victim must also be willing to work with local law enforcement.
- The crime must have occurred in the United States or in a U.S. territory, or violated U.S. law.
If anyone out there reading this has been a victim any of these crimes, don’t hesitate in asking for help. You may be able to apply for a U-Visa. Feel free to contact us.
There is also a T-Visa for victims of human trafficking. Here are some of the requirements:
- Are or were a victim of trafficking
- Are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking
- Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or you are under the age of 18, or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma)
- Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States
- Are admissible to the United States. (If not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192)
There is something known as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may apply for this. Here are some of the requirements for a spouse:
- If you are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser or your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing, or your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing due to an incident of domestic violence, or you believed that you were legally married to your abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
- Have been abused in the United States by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, or
- Have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse abroad while your spouse was employed by the U.S. government or a member of the U.S. uniformed services, or
- Are the parent of a child who has been subjected to abuse by your U.S. citizen or permanent spouse.
- You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.
- You have resided with your spouse.
- You are a person of good moral character.
These are the requirements for a child:
- Are the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser
- Were the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser who lost citizenship or lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence
- Have been abused in the United States by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent
- Have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent abroad while your parent was employed by the U.S. government or a member of the U.S. uniformed services
- Have resided with the abusive parent
- Have evidence to prove your relationship to your parent
- Must provide evidence of good moral character if you are over the age of 14
And finally, here are the requirements for a parent:
- Are the parent of a U.S. citizen child or were the parent of a U.S. citizen child who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence or died within 2 years before applying
- Have been abused by your U.S. citizen child
- Have resided with the abusive child
- Are a person of good moral character
Something else some of us undocumented people can apply for is something called Asylum. If you fear persecution due to your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion you may qualify for this. Make sure to speak with an attorney about it.
It is important that we have a thorough consultation with an attorney before applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals because you never know; you may even qualify for something better, like citizenship. Was this helpful?