New Opportunities for Dreamers: Understanding the D-3 Waiver Process

We are committed to keeping our clients informed about important changes in immigration law. Recent administrative actions have brought significant developments for DACA recipients and Dreamers, particularly regarding access to employment-based visas. Today, we’d like to explain these changes and what they might mean for you.

Understanding D-3 Waivers

The Immigration and Nationality Act §212(d)(3) waiver, commonly known as the D-3 waiver, is a powerful tool that can excuse various grounds of inadmissibility, including unlawful presence. For many Dreamers, this unlawful presence is often their only immigration law violation.

An approved D-3 waiver can remove barriers for temporary visa purposes, allowing eligible individuals to obtain employment-based temporary visas, such as H-1B visas, at a U.S. consulate abroad. This opens the door for Dreamers to enter the United States in valid status with work authorization.

Recent Changes and Their Significance

The Biden Administration recently announced new administrative actions to clarify guidance for D-3 waivers. This includes new language in the Foreign Affairs Manual, which should allow for more predictable and streamlined access to employment-based visas for eligible DACA recipients and other Dreamers.

Previously, the D-3 waiver process was lengthy and uncertain, deterring many eligible Dreamers from pursuing this route. The new guidance aims to make the process more transparent and accessible.

Potential Impact on Dreamers

This change could be transformative for many of our clients. Consider these examples:

  1. A DACA recipient who became a radiation oncologist was able to transition to H-1B status using a D-3 waiver. She’s now working at a major cancer center without worrying about DACA’s uncertain future.
  2. A financial analyst at a large public university moved from DACA to H-1B status and can now pursue a green card through employer sponsorship.

These success stories illustrate the potential of this pathway. However, it’s important to note that challenges remain. For instance, we’re currently assisting an emergency medicine doctor who has been waiting seven months for his D-3 waiver to be processed.

Why This Matters

Many Dreamers have pursued degrees in STEM, healthcare, teaching, and other specialized fields. They’re multilingual and bring unique perspectives to our workforce. This administrative action could enable these talented individuals to adjust their status and fill critical workforce needs, benefiting both the Dreamers and U.S. employers.

Next Steps

If you’re a DACA recipient or Dreamer interested in exploring employment-based visa options, here are some steps to consider:

  1. Assess your eligibility: Do you have a degree in a specialized field? Do you have a job offer in a “specialty occupation”?
  2. Understand the risks: The process may require leaving the U.S., which carries inherent risks.
  3. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney: Every case is unique, and professional guidance is crucial in navigating this complex process.

At the Immigration Law Offices of Hadley Bajramovic, we’re here to help you understand your options and guide you through the process. While this administrative action is a positive step, it’s not a permanent solution. We continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a clear path to citizenship for Dreamers.

Remember, immigration law is complex and constantly evolving. If you have questions about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office for a consultation. We’re here to help you navigate these new opportunities and work towards achieving your American dream.

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