If You Received a Letter from USCIS Telling You to Return Your Three-Year EAD Card (“Work Permit”), You Must Do So as Soon as Possible
An EAD card, commonly known as a “work permit” or “work authorization” card, provides foreign nationals with the ability to work legally. Most EAD cards are valid for two years at any given time. However, early in 2015, USICS issued EAD cards to persons renewing their DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) that were valid for three years. If you received one of these “three-year EADs,” you should have received a letter from USCIS informing you that the card must be returned to USCIS as soon as possible, but no later than July 31, 2015. Failure to return the card within this time frame could result in the loss of DACA status, the loss of the EAD, and/or a home visit by DHS officers. Home visits have begun in a number of states, including Texas, California, and New York.
EAEAD cards issued for two years remain valid and do not need to be returned. If you have a three-year card and did not receive a letter from USCIS telling you to return it, you may be be able to keep it. If you are unsure if you have to return it, call our attorneys or USCIS.
Check your letter from USCIS for more specific instructions. Some letters require that the foreign national appear at the USCIS office in person, in which case, you must do so. As soon as USCIS receives the returned card, you will be taken off the “home visit” list.
If you are required to return your three-year card, you should receive a two-year replacement very soon.
To investigate whether you are required to return your three-year card, click here.
USCIS Plans to Expand Eligibility for the Provisional Unlawful Presence (Stateside) Waivers
For several years, eligible spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens have been able to apply for a “provisional unlawful presence” waiver before they leave the United States for a consular interview for an immigrant visa. This provisional waiver lets these “immediate relative” immigrants shorten the time that they are separated from their families outside the United States, even if they have accrued long periods of unlawful presence in the United States. To secure the waiver, the immigrant must show “extreme hardship” to a qualifying relative if the waiver were not granted.
Now, USCIS has announced plans to expand eligibility of the provisional waiver program. First, USCIS would expand the program to all immigrants eligible for an unlawful presence waiver, not just spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens. This would include children of any age of permanent residents or citizens, as well as spouses of permanent residents.
This proposal is not yet in effect, so stay tuned! We will continue to update you when the new expanded program is in place, hopefully later this year.
For more information, click here.
Attention Physicians! Congress May Expand or End the Conrad 30 Program for J-1 Waivers
The Conrad 30 Waiver program allows physicians who come to the US for graduate medical education in J-1 status, to apply for a waiver of the 2-year residence requirement upon completion of the J-1 exchange visitor program. This law has helped deliver many foreign physicians to medically underserved areas in the United States. The program sunsets, however, on September 30.
It is currently unclear what will happen to the program after that date. However, two U.S. Senators have proposed legislation to improve and expand the Conrad 30 Program. Their bill would, among other things, make the program permanent, clarify requirements of the Physician National Interest Waiver classification, and achieve many technical fixes.
Individuals who were admitted in, or acquired, J-1 status prior to September 30, 2015 can still seek the waiver. But stay tuned to find out what will happen long term; we will keep you informed as details emerge.
For more information, click here.