April 23, 2021
Immigration is ever-changing and Institute services are responding to meet the immigration needs of our clients and community.
New or Returning Services
- On March 9, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Certain eligible Venezuelans will be able to apply for work authorization and will receive protection from deportation because of this action.
- As directed by President Biden, the Departments of State and Homeland Security (DHS) have reopened the Central American Minors (CAM) program. The goal of the program is to reunite qualified children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with their parent(s) who are lawfully present in the United States. This program provides a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the risks incurred in the attempt to migrate to the United States irregularly. During the first step of reopening the program Immigration services staff is currently working with 10 individuals living in Minnesota to reopen their CAM case.
Other Immigration Services Updates
- After many months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the local USCIS (immigration) office has slowly began to schedule fingerprint appointments, interviews, and oath ceremonies for citizenship applicants. From application submission to oath ceremony, the current citizenship processing time is almost 2 years. Since January 1, 125 Institute clients have completed their oath ceremony and received U.S. citizenship.
- Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (LRIFA) is a new program that allows eligible Liberians and qualifying family members to apply to adjust to lawful permanent resident status and become green card holders. Since the program began one year ago, 11 Institute clients were approved for permanent residency. Many Liberians in this program will be automatically eligible to apply for citizenship after receiving their green cards due to the date they first entered the United States. The LRIFA opportunity will only be available until December 2021.
- Refugee and Asylee relative petitions (I730) Recently one Ethiopian family and one Eritrean family were reunited after being apart for close to 6 years. Although these applications are processed slowly, the Institute is doing everything it can to ensure families are reunited.
- Individuals that have been granted refugee or asylee status may be eligible to apply for permanent residency after one year with refugee or asylee status. Residency is an important step towards citizenship. Currently the Institute has a very short wait list to receive help with permanent residency.
Immigration services staff assist clients with the services mentioned above. Call our office phone number to be screened: (651) 377-8642