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US Immigration Update - 14 August, 2012

by Dominic 14/08/2012 11:20:00
Young Brit gets US visa victory

A young British woman has been granted permission to remain in America after her US visa expired when she turned 21...read more.

Young immigrants prepare for US immigration directive opening

Thousands of young illegal immigrants are queuing up, eager to take advantage of the president's executive order which will allow them to live and work legally for two years free from the threat of deportation...read more.

New York grants to help young people avoid US immigration scams

The New York state legislature has announced it will provide $450,000 in grants to groups who are assisting young immigrants apply to President Obama's Deferred Action scheme...read more.



Young Brit gets US visa victory

Lauren Gray has been granted
permission to stay in the US.
 

A young British woman has been granted permission to remain in America after her US visa expired when she turned 21.

Lauren Gray was born in the UK but spent the majority of her life in Missouri, moving there in 1995 with her parents who moved to America on a business US visa to manage a hotel and restaurant.

However, the E-2 class of visa Ms Gray's parents held offers no path to residency and children are only alloved to remain in the country until they are 21 unless they get a visa of their own.

Ms Gray has reportedly been trying to get her own visa for nine years but an extensive backlog in the US immigration system meant she came perilously close to facing the prospect of moving back to a country she barely knows, alone.

Ms Gray's struggle became known when her story was featured in several newspapers and she eventually caught the attention of Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. The Democratic senator then personally called Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano regarding Ms Gray.

The Department of Homeland Security has since granted Ms Gray leave to live and work in the US for a further two years, after which she will have to either renew the deferral or secure her own visa.

While acknowledging that the victory is only temporary, Ms Gray said she was "thrilled I get to stay and live my dream here like I wanted."

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Young immigrants prepare for US immigration directive opening

People are queuing up across
the US to file their applications.
 

Thousands of young illegal immigrants are queuing up, eager to take advantage of the president's executive order which will allow them to live and work legally for two years free from the threat of deportation.

President Obama in June took a major step in the US immigration debate by issuing an executive order which put a stop to the deportations of all illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought to the US before they were 16.

If they met those conditions and had either graduated high school or served in the military and had no criminal record, they could defer deportation for two years and be granted a work permit by applying to the scheme and paying the $465 (£296) application fee.

The president's order, known as Deferred Action, is likely to have a significant effect on November's presidential election but the nearly 2 million people the directive helps only care about one thing at the minute: getting their work permit.

Some had expected potential applicants to be cautious as their illegal status has forced them to be but with applications for the scheme due to open tomorrow, immigration advisers, charities and lawyers nationwide have been swamped by young immigrants eager to get their applications in as soon as possible.

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New York grants to help young people avoid US immigration scams

The New York state legislature
wants to ensure people avoid
being taken advantage of.
 

The New York state legislature has announced it will provide $450,000 in grants to groups who are assisting young immigrants apply to President Obama's Deferred Action scheme.

Applications for Deferred Action begin being accepted tomorrow and allow young immigrants to gain a work permit valid for two years if they meet a number of conditions.

However, as the president's scheme is aimed at illegal immigrants, many maintain a cautious approach toward government departments and immigration officials are concerned that some will turn to private advisers for advice, and this leads to the possibility of scams.

Reports last month confirmed several instances of unscrupulous advisers offering potential applicants the opportunity to 'fast-track' or 'guarantee' their applications for sums as much as $4,000 (£2,550). At the time of these reports, little information had been released by immigration officials about the application process and when details eventually did emerge, the application fee was just $465.

In order to combat these growing concerns, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised $600,000 (£380,000) to pay for advertising campaigns and legal counsel but the state's assembly has gone further by promising a further $450,000 for clinics, workshops and legal services state-wide.

"It is critical that we get information out to our immigrant communities so that people will know who is eligible for deferred action and so that they can avoid being scammed," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the American Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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