If you do not qualify under the common basis for lawful immigration (marriage, U.S. citizen parents, children), you may still qualify for immigration benefits so long as you meet certain requirements.
Some people in the United States, who are otherwise undocumented, can apply for a type of relief that prevents that person from being deported. DACA is the most common form of deferred action and allows persons who entered the United States before their 16th birthday, resided in the U.S. continuously, and completed educational requirements, to remain under a special category for a period of two years. There are other forms of deferred action that you may qualify for.
Certain individuals who have a credible fear of returning to their home country can benefit from relief by applying for asylum. Applicants must file an asylum application within one year of arriving to the United States and meet an initial requirement of establishing credible fear. The applicant must then submit evidence of their claim for asylum and prove that they have suffered harm or persecution, or have a well founded fear of suffering future harm or persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
If you were the victim of a crime and cooperated with the authorities to prosecute the crime, you may qualify for a U-Visa, which can lead to Legal Permanent Resident status. It is very important that a police report of the crime exists and that you have been actively involved in helping the authorities. U-Visas require that a law enforcement agency certify that the crime committed against you is one that allows you to apply for a U-Visa. You may also need to provide your own evidence on the crime and its impact on your life.
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