Immigration fraud and related scams are exactly what they sound like. Fraud may entail attempting to immigrate to the U.S. through false purposes, which breach the country’s immigration laws. It may also refer to fraudulent websites, emails, mail, and communications. Scams typically try to convince individuals to share information, resources and money in promises of obtaining residency or another form of legal status in the U.S.

Recently, USCIS reported an uptick in the number of fraudulent communications sent to those who have applied to the Diversity Visa program. However, immigration fraud is not limited to this area alone. In fact, it comes in many shapes and forms.

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DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, began on August 15, 2012, two months after President Obama created the policy. The purpose of this act is to provide a path to work authorization for non-criminal immigrants who came to United States at age 16 or younger, do not have serious criminal records, and are currently studying or have graduated high school.

This limited and discretionary immigration can be given to people who are currently in removal proceedings or have final orders of removal. It is also applicable to those have never been in removal proceedings.

Individuals who have been granted deferred action status also qualify for employment authorization. It is important to remember that DACA is not a direct path to citizenship or permanent residence.

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, began with President Obama’s policy, created on June 15, 2012. The act is designed to allow non-criminal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and are currently studying or have finished high school an official employment authorization document.

This deferred action period was designed to last two years with an opportunity for renewal. Removal action for individuals who receive DACA is deferred through the use of prosecutorial discretion.

Recent updates have left many people who received work permit and approval notices wondering if they are legally required to return those documents.

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The different immigration categories for those who wish to stay in the United States are complex and varied, ranging from temporary work authorization permits to full citizenship. Temporary protected status is one of those many varied immigration statuses.

Temporary protected status (TPS) was designed to offer immigrants who can’t return home to their country safely due to various safety concerns a means to temporarily remain in the United States legally and provide work authorization in the United States. As the name suggests, this status is temporary and not a type of permanent residency or citizenship or a path to permanent residency or citizenship. You can, however, apply for an adjustment of status, another immigration protection or nonimmigrant status at a later date, only if you qualify independently for such a new immigration status.

The designated countries and related requirements for temporary protected status change often. Read on to learn which foreign nationals may be eligible and how the process works.

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Work permits allow individuals to work and live in the United States. This form of employment authorization is not the same as residency or citizenship as it is temporary and will expire. Once your work permit expires, you are expected to stop working immediately. Further, in some instances, if your work permit expires you are also no longer in lawful status. Therefore, if you failed to renew your work authorization on time, you could face penalties, be denied future visits to the U.S. or even be barred from re-entry to the country. To find the expiration date for your work permit, check your work permit card.

As you might have imagined, it is important that you renew your work permit before it expires. Always be sure to verify the terms of your work authorization with USCIS and your employer. Review the following helpful tips to learn how to successfully renew your documentation ahead of time.

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There are many considerations to keep in mind when applying for a green card. Applicants must determine if they are indeed eligible for the permanent residence card and if so, under which category they qualify.

To help you better understand the process, we’ve created a handy guide regarding the various categories and their requirements.

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On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to help deal with issues concerning illegal immigration. The goal of these actions is to help prevent illegal immigration at the border, to the focus on deporting felons rather than families, and provide non-criminal immigrants with families a means to obtain work authorization. It’s important to look deeper into the initiatives to get a better understanding of what they are and how they will affect immigrants.

Expansion of DACA

One of the most important elements of Obama’s Executive Action plan is the expansion of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This program is for those who came into the country before they were 16 years old and are attending school or have graduated from high school. This program has been in effect since January 1, 2010, but was expanded through Obama’s new plan. The expansion extends the validity period from two to three years, changed the effective date, and eliminated the age out restriction. Therefore, certain student immigrants who did not qualify for the previous DACA programs may qualify now.

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On September 30, 2014, President Barack Obama issued the “FY 2015 Refugee Admissions” memorandum which outlines the United States placing a cap on the number of refugees entering the country at 70,000. The number is the same amount allowed in 2014, but the allotments from the Latin American and Caribbean regions have decreased from 5,000 to 4,000. These regions include El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the origin countries from which many families and children have crossed the American border to make an escape from extreme violence. In his memo, President Obama directly called for the U.S. government to develop programs that would allow for eligible people from these three countries to apply for refugee status from within their own country.

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The following information outlines some of the important immigration bills that were introduced in 2013 and 2014, and a basic explanation of what these bills mean.

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The United States is a nation built by immigrants and, throughout history, immigrants have kept our workforce diversified, businesses on the cutting edge, and helped to keep the country’s economy growing. However, with immigration reform legislation currently making the rounds in Congress, it is essential that accurate estimations of the economic costs and benefits to be experienced are thoroughly examined in relation to any specific bill.

Benefits of Immigration Reform

There is an agreement among the government and industry leaders in the U.S. that this country should be the world’s leading destination for highly skilled workers. Without the H-1B visa program, American employers could never be matched up with the right foreign nonimmigrant worker with the skill set needed. Without this program, there are a lot of employers who would not be able to find workers who possess the science, technology, engineering, and mathematical skills the company needs to innovate, grow, and boost the economy.

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