June 21, 2024 - Weekly Immigration News Update

Posted by Keshab R. Seadie | Jun 21, 2024 | 0 Comments

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. In this edition, we bring you important updates on various immigration matters. Please take a moment to review the following key highlights:

White House and DHS Announce New Pathways for Undocumented Spouses and Dreamers

Today, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced two significant new immigration relief programs designed to aid undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens and certain Dreamers with U.S. degrees. Preliminary details of these programs have been released, with full information expected in an upcoming Federal Register notice.

New Programs Announced

  • A pathway to permanent residence for certain undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens.
  • An easier path to H-1B and other employment-based nonimmigrant statuses for Dreamers with degrees from accredited U.S. institutions.

Spouses Program

  • Launch Date: Expected later this summer.
  • Eligibility: Undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens can apply for permanent residence within the U.S. using the adjustment of status process.
  • Requirements: Continuous presence in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024, no disqualifying criminal history or national security/public safety concerns.
  • Benefits: Eligible spouses can apply for work authorization and will be protected from removal during the application period.

Dreamers Program

  • Target Group: Dreamers, including DACA recipients, with U.S. degrees and a job offer related to their field of study.
  • Objective: To simplify the transition to H-1B and other employment-based nonimmigrant visa statuses.
  • Details: Specific mechanisms and procedures are yet to be announced.


These new programs reflect a commitment to easing immigration barriers for families and individuals who have contributed to the U.S. through education and family ties. While the details are still emerging, these initiatives promise to create more accessible pathways to legal status and employment opportunities for many individuals.

Stay tuned for more information as the official notices are published and the programs are rolled out later this summer.

DOS Issues Guidance on Easing the Nonimmigrant Visa Process for U.S. College Graduates

Following the White House's recent announcement to facilitate quicker access to nonimmigrant work visas for certain individuals, the Department of State (DOS) has provided further guidance to consular officers. This guidance focuses on the circumstances under which officers should consider recommending that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant a waiver of ineligibility where applicable.

Key Highlights

  • White House Actions: The White House has introduced measures to streamline the process for obtaining nonimmigrant work visas for U.S. college graduates.
  • DOS Clarification: The DOS has issued guidance to consular officers on recommending waivers of ineligibility to DHS, aimed at easing the visa process.

Specific Guidance Details

  • Criteria for Waiver Recommendations: Consular officers are advised to consider recommending waivers for ineligibility when certain conditions are met, though the specific criteria and procedures for such recommendations have not been fully detailed.
  • Impact on Graduates: This guidance is particularly relevant for U.S. college graduates who are seeking to transition to nonimmigrant work visas, such as the H-1B visa.
  • Expected Benefits: The streamlined process is expected to reduce wait times and facilitate quicker access to work visas, enabling graduates to begin their employment in the U.S. more swiftly.

Context and Implementation

  • Timing: While the DOS has provided preliminary guidance, the complete implementation details will be published in an upcoming Federal Register notice. The exact timing of this notice is not yet known and could be several weeks or more.
  • Focus on Dreamers: This initiative is part of broader efforts to support Dreamers, including those with DACA status, by providing clearer pathways to employment-based visa statuses.

Applying for U.S. Citizenship with a DWI or Criminal Record: Key Considerations

Applying for U.S. citizenship can be a complex process, particularly if you have a history of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or other criminal records. Navigating the path to naturalization requires careful preparation and an understanding of how your past can impact your application. Here are essential considerations for individuals with DWI or other criminal records when applying for U.S. citizenship:

Understanding Good Moral Character Requirements

  • Good Moral Character (GMC): One of the primary requirements for U.S. citizenship is demonstrating good moral character for the statutory period, typically five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen). Certain criminal offenses can impact your ability to prove GMC.
  • DWI and GMC: A DWI conviction can affect your GMC determination. While a single DWI may not automatically disqualify you, multiple offenses or a pattern of behavior suggesting disregard for the law can be problematic.

Impact of Criminal Records on Citizenship Application

  • Disclosure Requirements: It is crucial to be honest and thorough when disclosing your criminal history on Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization). Failing to disclose any arrests, charges, or convictions can result in denial of your application or even deportation.
  • Types of Offenses: Felonies, crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT), and aggravated felonies can have severe implications for your naturalization process. Even some misdemeanors can impact your application.

Rehabilitation and Mitigating Factors

  • Rehabilitation Efforts: Demonstrating rehabilitation can help mitigate the impact of past offenses. Evidence of rehabilitation may include completion of probation, substance abuse treatment, community service, and letters of recommendation.
  • Time Since Offense: The amount of time that has passed since the offense occurred can be a factor. Older offenses, especially those that occurred outside the GMC statutory period, may carry less weight compared to recent ones.

Legal Assistance and Representation

  • Consulting an Immigration Attorney: Given the complexities involved, consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is advisable. An attorney can help you understand how your specific criminal record will impact your application and guide you through the process.
  • Preparing Documentation: Your attorney can assist in gathering all necessary documentation, such as court records, evidence of rehabilitation, and character references, to support your application.

Possible Outcomes and Appeals

  • Possible Denial: Be prepared for the possibility that your application may be denied due to your criminal record. Understanding the reasons for denial can help you take corrective actions or prepare for a future application.
  • Appeals and Motions: If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision or file a motion to reopen or reconsider the case. An immigration attorney can help you with the appeals process.

Final Tips

  • Be Honest: Full disclosure of your criminal history is crucial. Attempting to hide or minimize past offenses can lead to severe consequences.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect and present any evidence that demonstrates your good moral character and rehabilitation efforts.
  • Stay Informed: Immigration laws and policies can change, so staying informed about the latest developments is important.


Applying for U.S. citizenship with a DWI or other criminal records requires careful planning and attention to detail. By understanding the impact of your criminal history, demonstrating rehabilitation, and seeking legal guidance, you can better navigate the naturalization process. While challenges may arise, being proactive and prepared can improve your chances of a successful application.

We hope you find this information valuable. If you have any questions or require legal assistance related to any of these updates, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.


Keshab Raj Seadie, Esq.
Law Offices of Keshab Raj Seadie, P.C.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult an attorney for personalized advice.

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