The Shpigler Law Firm, LLC
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security began accepting applications on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 for "deferred action" from young people who were brought to the United States as children and meet certain additional requirements. Those individuals who are approved for deferred action will be not be deported and may apply for employment authorization, as long as they can demonstrate an economic necessity for their employment.
Deferred action is a discretionary decision made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) not to pursue enforcement against a person for a specific period. Deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, and does not provide individuals with a path to citizenship or lawful permanent resident status.
Who qualifies for deferred action?
To qualify for the program, an individual must:
There is a new filing option for Canadians who wish to apply for TN status. Starting October 1, 2012, USCIS will accept the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, filed on behalf of Canadian citizens who are outside the United States and seeking classification as TN nonimmigrants. Until recently, USCIS only permitted employers to file I-129 petitions in connection with a request to extend a current TN holder’s stay in the United States or to change an individual’s nonimmigrant status to that of a TN. Canadians residing outside the United States were required to apply for TN status at the border or at a pre-clearance/pre-flight station.
Canadian citizens will continue to have the option of applying for TN status at a U.S. port of entry. The new rule simply allows applicants to have a choice: they can either have their employers file a petition with USCIS in advance, obtain an approval notice, and present that approval notice at the port of entry (together with all supporting documentation), or they can follow the old procedure and appear at the port of entry with no advance approval (but with all supporting documentation) to apply for TN status.
Presumably, the new procedure will benefit those Canadians whose cases are more complex. The border officials will no longer be conducting the initial review and making a decision based on documents that have not been screened by other officials. Instead, applicants will be presenting border officials with a USCIS approval notice. Hopefully, the border officials will defer to the USCIS decision in most cases, making the process easier for Canadians seeking to enter the United States in TN status.
The Trade NAFTA (TN) classification was created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to facilitate the entry of Mexican and Canadian citizens to the United States for employment on a temporary basis. TN status is available to professionals from Mexico and Canada who meet the following criteria:
From time to time, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends notices to employers that list the names of employees for whom information submitted (typically on an employee wage report) does not match Social Security records. These are called "no match" letters. If you are an employer, what should you do if you receive a social security no match letter?
This Immigration Bulletin is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice.
Debra R. Shpigler is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.