May 1, 2008

 

 

 

CalWORKs PROGRAM GUIDE FOOD STAMPS PROGRAM GUIDE

SPECIAL NOTICE SPECIAL NOTICE

07- 03 ADD B 07-03 ADD B

 

Subject

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY INTERIM FINAL RULE ON NEW CLASSIFICATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY; ELIGIBILITY FOR U NONIMMIGRANT STATUS

Reference

All County Letter (ACL) 08-15

 

Effective Date

Upon receipt

 

Purpose

The purpose of this CalWORKs and Food Stamps Special Notice is to provide staff with an update on the status of the Interim Final Rule recently filed by the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and

Immigration Services (USCIS) as it pertains to eligibility for benefits and services for victims of serious crime.

Background

Senate Bill (SB) 1569 created a new state program (effective January 1, 2007), that provides eligible, non-citizen victims of human trafficking and victims of domestic violence or other serious crimes benefits and social services equivalent to those available to refugees. This program was implemented via ACL 06-60 issued December 21, 2006 (Special Notices 07-03 and 07-03 ADD A).

 

 

 

 

Interim U Visa

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 created U Nonimmigrant Status for certain victims of criminal activity (including, but not limited to, domestic violence).

 

As regulations governing U Visas were not forthcoming following TVPA implementation, an administrative remedy called U Visa Interim Relief was created to enable victims a stay of deportation and work authorization.

New U Visa

Now that an Interim Final Rule has been issued, USCIS no longer accepts U Visa Interim Relief applications filed after October 17, 2007.

 

New applicants must present evidence that they have filed for a U Visa (or have obtained one) if they do not have proof that they filed for U Visa Interim Relief before October 17, 2007. This evidence can include:

 

  A Notice of Action (Form I-797) approving U Visa Interim Relief based on a request filed prior to October 17, 2007 (Attachment A); or

 

  A confirmation receipt or letter from USCIS verifying that a request for U Visa Interim Relief was filed prior to October 17, 2007 (Attachment B); or

 

  A Form 1-797 which serves as a fee receipt for an employment authorization request based on a request for U Visa Interim Relief filed prior to October 17, 2007; or

 

  A confirmation receipt or letter from USCIS verifying that a petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form 1-918) has been filed; or

 

  A Form 1-797 approving a U Visa; or

 

  A form I-797 which serves as a fee receipt for an employment authorization request based on a U Visa application; or

 

  A completed copy of Form I-918. If the only available evidence is the completed copy of the I-918, the applicant must provide, within a reasonable time, verification from USCIS that it was submitted; or

 

  An employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued under Category A19 or A20 for an approved U Visa petitioner.

 

 

 

Existing U Visa Interim Relief Cases

Federal regulations have established that after the effective date of the issuance of the Interim Final Rule (October 17, 2007), USCIS will not consider initial requests for interim relief. USCIS has indicated that petitioners who have previously been granted interim relief and have filed a Form I-918 for a U Visa will have their interim relief extended until USCIS completes its adjudication of the application.

 

Therefore, cases determined eligible based on a request for U Visa Interim Relief prior to October 17, 2007 may remain eligible if a U Visa application has been filed (or a U Visa has been issued) or until a denial of interim relief has been issued.

 

Note: When discussing elements of the new rule with recipients, the HSS is cautioned to not provide advice that may be legal in nature. The HSS may suggest to recipients that they consult an immigration attorney, a legal aid representative, or other appropriate party for assistance in applying for a U Visa or for additional information regarding the Interim Final Rule.

 

Automation Impact

None

Client Correspondence Impact

None

Quality Assurance Impact

Quality Assurance (QA) will cite the appropriate error when the regulations cited in the material have not been followed.

Child care Impact

None

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Assistant Deputy Director

 

Original signed 5/1/08

 

JAYE YOSHONIS, ASSISTANT DEPUTY DIRECTOR

CalWORKs Program

Strategic Planning & Operational Support

 

Original signed 4/30/08

 

DANN CRAWFORD, ASSISTANT DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Food Stamp, Medi-Cal, and General Relief Programs

Strategic Planning & Operational Support