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2013 Immigration Reform

This are the requirements to be eligible for the 2013 Immigration Reform. Be advised that the House and Senate are still amending the Law, so this is not final and changes to the requirements may be in place.

Eligibility Criteria for New Immigration Reform As of June 2013

Ø Continuous presence. To be eligible for RPI status, a person must have been continuously present in the U.S. from December 31, 2011, until granted RPI status, except for “brief, casual and innocent” or authorized departures.

Ø Fees and fine. Fees will be determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cover the cost of the application process; a fine of $1,000 will be assessed and may be paid in installments, to be completed before the extension of RPI status; another $1,000 penalty is assessed when the person applies to adjust to LPR status. Those who are under the age of 21, as well as those who entered the U.S. under the age of 16, are not subject to the fines.

Ø Taxes. Applicants for RPI status must pay any outstanding federal tax liability that has been assessed by the Internal Revenue Service, and must pay taxes during the period of RPI status.

Ø Time limit to file. People seeking RPI status must file for it within one year from the time that DHS publishes final regulations implementing the bill’s provisions. The DHS secretary may extend this limit for an additional 18 months.

Ø Ability to apply for family members. A person with RPI status will be able to file an application to obtain RPI status for otherwise eligible dependent children and spouses who were in the U.S. before December 30, 2012, and remain continuously in the U.S. until the date the person is granted RPI status. If the relationship is terminated due to death or divorce, or if the spouse or child has been subject to domestic violence (regardless of whether the relationship has terminated), the spouse or child may apply independently.

Ø People in custody or removal proceedings. People who are apprehended by immigration authorities prior to the RPI application period, are in removal proceedings, or have been ordered removed will be able to apply for RPI status if they can establish that they are prima facie eligible (or appear to meet the basic eligibility criteria) for the status.

 

Ø People who have been removed from the U.S. People who have been removed from the U.S. or who left the U.S. after a judge’s order of “voluntary departure,” and are outside the U.S. or reentered the U.S. unlawfully after December 31, 2011, will not be eligible to file an application for RPI status. However the DHS secretary may waive this provision for the spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen or LPR. DREAMers also may qualify for this waiver if they have a high school diploma from a U.S. school or a general equivalency diploma (GED) issued in the U.S., or were present in the U.S. for at least 3 of the 6 years prior to the bill’s enactment. Prior to granting this waiver, DHS must determine whether the individual has a criminal conviction, notify and consult with any victim to determine whether to grant the waiver, and notify the victim if the waiver is granted.

Ø DACA recipients. People granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and who are otherwise eligible may secure RPI status if they are screened for national security and law enforcement purposes.

 

Individuals Are Not Eligible for RPI Status If . . .

Ø They are already lawfully present. This includes people who are LPRs, refugees, asylees, or people who were in a nonimmigrant status (e.g., on a visitor’s or a nonimmigrant employment-based visa) on April 16, 2013. People who are in temporary protected status (TPS) on this date are eligible.

Ø They have been convicted of: • A felony (other than a state or local immigration status–related offense);

• An aggravated felony;

• Three or more misdemeanors (other than minor traffic offenses or state or local immigration status–related offenses), if convicted on different dates for each of the three offenses;

• Certain foreign offenses; or

• Unlawful voting.

 

Convictions that are expunged, or set aside do not count. DHS will conduct additional security screening of RPI applicants, spouses, and children who resided in a region or country “known to pose a threat, or that contains groups or organizations that pose a threat to the U.S.”