USCIS: Chilean Nationals Can Apply for Immigration Benefits

In light of the natural catastrophes that rocked Chile late last month and displaced an estimated two million Chileans, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued several immigration benefits for immigrants from Chile.

Of course, it should not take a natural disaster or catastrophe to show compassion for immigrants from the Americas but that seems to be the trend nowadays.

The benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • The grant of an application for change or extension of non-immigrant status on behalf of a Chilean national who is currently in the United States, even in cases where the request is submitted after the individual’s authorized period of admission has expired;

  • Re-parole of individuals granted parole by USCIS in addition to extension of certain grants of advance parole, expedited processing of advance parole requests;

  • Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization due to severe economic hardship for F-1 students;

  • Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relative(s) of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);

  • Expedited issuance of employment authorization where appropriate; and

  • Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without documents in coordination with the Department of State.

The immigration benefits are temporary and issued with an understanding that natural disasters can negatively impede an individual’s ability to maintain legal status in the United States.

It is encouraging to see the Department of Homeland Security taking action to provide at least some relief, if not temporary protected status and a stay on deportations, for immigrants from Chile during these tough times.

Photo Credit: SAMUEL TRIP

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