USCIS: Humanitarian Benefits Available to Chilean Nationals16 Mar 2010
Chile continues to dig out after being hit last month by an earthquake of staggering proportions. In view of the devastation, a posting on the USCIS WebSite reminds Chilean expats that they need not return home to a disaster area just yet, because several temporary relief measures are available to Chilean nationals who request them. According to the USCIS, this temporary relief may include:
- granting an application for change or extension of nonimmigrant status for a Chilean national in the United States, even if the request is filed after his or her authorized period of admission has expired;
- re-parole of Chilean nationals granted parole by USCIS;
- extension of certain advance parole grants, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;
- for F-1 students, expedited adjudication – and approval, when possible – of requests for off-campus employment authorization, due to severe economic hardship;
- expedited issuance of employment authorization, if appropriate; and
- USCIS and State Department assistance to green card holders stranded overseas without documents.
Further information on these programs is available at www.uscis.gov and through the USCIS National Customer Service Center toll-free help line. Note well that USCIS does not extend these benefits automatically, and that Chilean nationals who wish to avail themselves of any of the protections outlined above must file the requisite paperwork in a timely manner. If you are in this situation, it is worth your while to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer. As always, case-specific advice is available through a paid consultation with one of the professionals at the Murthy Law Firm.