On November 15, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a statement indicating that Filipino Nationals may be eligible for certain types of immigration relief as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. The following are potential immigration relief measures for those Filipino Nationals affected by Typhoon Haiyan:
- Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
- Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
- Extension of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;
- Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
- Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (“LPRs”);
- Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
- Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that has no local USCIS office.
President Obama is also being urged to designate the Philippines for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”), which would provide additional relief to eligible Filipinos here in the U.S. A grant of TPS would allow Filipinos here in the U.S. to work and support their families in the Philippines who were impacted by the Typhoon.
If you have any questions about this Client Alert, please contact your Immigration Counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell. If you would like to donate to the relief of victims of Typhoon Haiyan, click here to see a list of reputable organizations released by the US Government.