March 22-23, 2023: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Derivative Beneficiaries

Mar 22, 2023 12:00PM—Mar 23, 2023 5:00PM


Virtual ,

Event Contact Maria Lazzarino | Email


ASISTA Virtual CLE Conference

 Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Derivative Beneficiaries

     Wed., March 22nd – Thur., March 23rd, 2023: 12-5:00 pm ET


Description: During this two-day training, participants will learn best practices for representing derivative beneficiaries of U, T, and VAWA petitions, as well as other family members, from the first application through permanent residence.  Experts will share advice on how to address challenging issues such as changes in eligibility and inadmissibility, and the potential for conflicts with primary beneficiaries. We will devote one session to methods of troubleshooting when things go wrong.

Speakers include national experts from ASISTA, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), Legal Ethicist – Craig Dobson, Her Justice, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), and Urban Justice Center.

This 2-day conference is intended for intermediate attorneys and DOJ Accredited Representatives who already have a basic understanding about U, T, and VAWA related cases, and have experience or interest in working with derivative beneficiaries of immigrant survivors, either abroad or inside the United States.

Day ONE: Who Can (and Should) You Represent? Wed., March 22nd (12 – 5pm ET)

Session One: (1.5) 12:00-1:30pm ET

Nonimmigrant Eligibility: U and T Derivatives

This session will focus on identifying, preserving, and understanding derivative eligibility in the U and T contexts. We will review not just the basics of who qualifies at the time of the principal’s application, but also age-out and marry-out nuances, trends and troubles with different validity dates on different documents, and who really needs that EAD to work in the U.S.

Speakers: Lia Ocasio, Staff Attorney, ASISTA; Alison Kamhi, Legal Program Director, ILRC

Session Two: (1.5) 2:00-3:30pm ET 

Immigrant Eligibility: VAWA Derivatives and Family Members of U and T Principals  

Family members of survivors who gain VAWA, U, or T status have unique opportunities to seek immigrant status in the U.S. or abroad. In this session we will explore classic derivative opportunities and age-out/marry-out scenarios, as well as more unusual options like independent immigration of VAWA derivative children over 21 (under INA § 204(a)(1)(D)) and I-929 petitions for family members of U principals who never actually held derivative status. Along the way, we will review waiver needs and qualifications, and discuss employment authorization eligibility as each type of status pends or gets approved.

Speakers: Rebecca Eissenova, Senior Staff Attorney, ASISTA; Joy Ziegeweid, Supervising Immigration Attorney, Domestic  Violence Project, Urban Justice Center

Session Three: (1) 4:00-5:00pm ET 

Ethics: When the Needs of Principals and Derivatives Conflict

With each additional relative who is eligible for status comes an additional potential client whose interests may conflict with the principal’s.  In this session we will review ethical considerations, from the initial decision of whether to accept dual representation, through facts that arise mid-case or later, that can cause immigration goals to diverge.  Topics will include situations where smuggling inadmissibility may come to light, navigating prolonged processing delays for derivatives, and planning for complexities particular to clients in removal or at risk of removal.

Speakers: Cristina Velez, Legal & Policy Director, ASISTA; Craig Dobson, Legal Ethics Advisor to Lawyers

Day TWO : How do you Best Represent Them? Thursday, March 23rd (12 – 5pm ET)

Session Four: (1.5) 12:00-1:30pm ET 

Nonimmigrant Processes: U and T Derivatives

Knowing that a family member could become a U or T derivative is only valuable when you also know how they could become a derivative. In this session, we will go over the mechanics of the petition processes in the U.S., for both affirmative applicants and those detained or in removal proceedings. We will also take a tour through nonimmigrant consular processing, from biometrics abroad, to receiving the I-797 approval, to preparing for the interview, overcoming refusals, entering the U.S., and getting an EAD.  On top of the common processes, we will touch on cases where the derivative’s location changes during the pendency of the case, and even where a person cannot qualify as a derivative but may have the option to enter through humanitarian parole.

Speakers: Lia Ocasio, Staff Attorney, ASISTA; Carson Osberg, Senior Attorney, CAST

Session Five: (1) 2:00-3:00 pm ET 

Immigrant Processes: Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing for Family Members of Principals Approved for VAWA, U, or T status

The process to gain immigrant status as an approved VAWA derivative or family member of a U- or T-status recipient is both similar and different to the adjustment and consular processes for other immigrant applicants. In this session we will walk through each process, including for those with current or prior removal cases, and those currently in the U.S. or abroad.  Special attention will be given to consular processing for VAWA derivatives and I-929 beneficiaries, as well as where waivers may fit in.

Speakers: Rebecca Eissenova, Senior Staff Attorney, ASISTA; Esther Limb, Supervising Attorney, Her Justice 

Session Six: (1.5) 3:30-5:00 pm ET 

When Things Go Wrong

In this final session, we will learn what to do when things blow off course. From opportunities for nunc pro tunc extensions of status and inadmissibility waivers, to I-290Bs, our experts will share options for cleaning up a mess.  We will also discuss considerations for re-applying, withdrawing, expediting, or giving up on a status and opting for parole. Additional insights on recourse to third parties will be shared, so you can make the most of the service center hotlines, Congressional liaisons, LegalNet, the CIS ombudsman, and ASISTA’s own intervention connections.

Speakers: Rebecca Eissenova, Kelly Head, Lia Ocasio, & Cristina Velez, ASISTA. 

Prices for full training (8 hours total sessions)

Note: Prices for training will increase $50 starting Monday, March 20th, 2023, and registration will close the day before the training on Tuesday March 21st, 2023 at 5pm ET. Processing fees apply for online payments

CLE: 8 hrs. of Texas MCLE credits will be applied for this conference. Certificates of attendance will be available upon request after completion on training.

Interested in sponsoring this conference?  Sponsor this event while promoting your business. Your support will be highlighted in conference outreach and materials right up to the conference, and includes things like complimentary free registration.

Interested in sponsoring ASISTA all year round? Check out our 2023 annual sponsorship opportunities for even more benefits, and to show your support for ASISTA all year long to over 7,500 advocates, attorneys, law firms, organizations, and more!

Questions: Contact Maria Lazzarino at

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