US student visa program for students with Japanese roots: How to apply
The US Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday it will allow applicants with Japanese ancestry to apply for a green card, which allows them to travel to the US, while the other visa categories will remain closed.
The Department of State said it is reviewing applications from applicants who had Japanese ancestry.
It said applicants who have Japanese ancestry are already eligible for green cards under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which was created by President Donald Trump to allow young people brought to the country as children to stay and work without fear of deportation.
The Trump administration announced last week that it would temporarily halt enforcement of DACA at the end of the year.
The White House said the move would allow young immigrants with Japanese parents to apply to remain in the country without fear.
But the Department of Justice said Wednesday that only those who are not American citizens and who meet certain requirements will be able to apply.
In March, DHS announced it would allow applicants to apply as part of the Defending Our Community initiative, which is an effort to give communities a way to vet the applicants and determine if they qualify for protection.
DHS said the initiative would continue to allow applicants who are part of groups of immigrants who have a history of community involvement and who have demonstrated good character and integrity.
The agency said it will continue to provide a way for people who are eligible to apply, but will not automatically grant a visa to any applicants who do not meet those requirements.
The department also said it would be issuing a new form of green cards to students who are in the United States on a student visa and who were born in Japan or its territories.
It is a change from the previous policy, which required applicants to meet the same requirements as those who were citizens at the time of their application.
DHS will also allow students who were not born in the U.S. and live in Japan to apply online, instead of by mail, under a new application process that DHS will begin rolling out this fall.
The change in the process comes as Trump is considering a sweeping immigration overhaul.
It also comes after he issued a new order in January that temporarily suspended enforcement of the DACA program and temporarily banned refugees from entering the United State.
The order also barred new refugees from traveling to the United Nations, and also temporarily banned visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, among other measures.
About 11 million people have received DACA protection under the program, according to the Department.
A DHS spokesperson said the new system will allow those who have received green cards in the past three years to apply on a separate form.
The spokesman said the department will also be working with Japanese embassies and consulates in the US to help applicants who need a visa, and the department said it plans to issue a new green card to those applicants.