As a result of the disaster and humanitarian crisis in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, Filipino nationals may be eligible for some immigration relief measures through The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For example, if you are an F-1 visa student and your parents can no longer financially support you due to being affected by Haiyan you may be eligible for off-campus employment. There is also the possibility of leniency if you have not appeared for an interview or submitted evidence required for your immigration status or petition; you may show how the typhoon affected your connection to USCIS and your ability to appear or submit documents as required. Finally, there is the possibility of expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents.
If you or a Filipino family member have been affected by Typohoon Haiyan, make sure you are receiving the immigration relief benefits available to you by contacting the USCIS or an attorney. According to the USCIS, available benefits may include:
- Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for a person currently in the United States, even if the request is filed late
- Extension of certain grants of parole or advance parole and expedited processing of advance parole requests
- Expedited approval of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 Visa students experiencing severe economic hardship
- Expedited processing for employment authorization applications
- Assistance to lawful permanent residents that are stranded overseas without travel documents or immigration cards
- Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent resident