The DREAM Act, is basically a legislative proposal (bill) that would offer permanent residency (Green Card) to certain illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. at a young age. Dream Act proposal has strict eligibility standards that illegal immigrants need to satisfy. This bill, first introduced on August 1, 2001, was never passed by the Congress.
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a much awaited policy providing certain undocumented youths with benefits similar to those under the Dream Act. This new policy is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under this policy, the government agrees not to put an individual in removal proceedings. If an individual already has a pending order of removal, that will be put on hold under this deferred action policy. The Department of Homeland Security has released formal guidelines on the Deferred Action for “DREAMers” who are among the worst affected victims of a flawed immigration system. Perhaps the top benefit of the Deferred Action benefit is that it removes the immediate threat of deportation for eligible illegal immigrants.
If eligible, you can get a Work Permit and stop deportation!
The new DREAM Act benefit is a great reprieve for people who qualify, as it gives them the ability to apply for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) once this deferred action is granted. It will be granted for a period of two years but may be extended if the individual continues to meet the requirements. The grant of deferred action is discretionary and requests for relief will be decided on a case to case basis after a careful review of the supporting evidence and documentation submitted.
How to qualify for deferred action, the new immigration benefit?
USCIS has started accepting applications for Deferred Action as of August 15, 2012. Application forms and instructions were posted on the official USCIS website on August 14, 2012. Eligible individuals must wait until August 15, 2012 to submit the application as USCIS will reject any requests received before that. The eligibility criteria, as set out by the 06/15/12 memo and subsequent update on 08/03/12, are as follows:
- Must be younger than 31 on June 15, 2012
- Must have arrived in the United States before turning 16
- Must have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, to the present date
- Must be physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012
- Must be physically present in the United States at the time of submitting the Deferred Action application to USCIS
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
- One of the following must apply:
- You entered United Stated without inspection before June 15, 2012
- Your previous lawful immigration status (if any) expired on or before June 15, 2012
- One of the following must apply on the date of application:
- You are in school,
- You have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school
- You have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate
- You are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces
There is a total filing fee of $465, of which $380 goes towards the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and $85 towards biometrics fee. Deferred action lawyers at the VisaNation Law Group PLLC charge a competitive attorney fees, which is competitive with other immigration law firms in Miami, FL and NYC.
Why is it advisable to hire an experienced deferred action lawyer?
As with any new immigration policy or law, a careful analysis of your eligibility for deferred action by a qualified immigration lawyer is very important. Applying for the Deferred Action benefit without fully qualifying or without appropriate supporting documents may lead to Requests for Evidence (RFE) or rejection of your application. The USCIS is widely expected to issue a high percentage of RFE for deferred action applications and it is usually time consuming, stressful and expensive to prepare and submit an RFE response. Thus it’s imperative to send out the best and most complete application the first time. Moreover, if your initial RFE response is not considered adequate, the USCIS will almost certainly deny your deferred action application. If that happens, the possibility of being put in removal proceedings in not completely out of question.
VisaNation Law Group has extensive experience in deportation cases and has enjoyed a great success rate in fighting removal and helping clients stay in the U.S. The Immigration attorneys at VisaNation Law Group applaud this effort of the Obama administration and will proudly assist qualified DREAMers in achieving the best possible results in their case.
Do not risk denial of your deferred action application! Call VisaNation Law Group at 1-877-811-3541 for a Free Consultation.