President’s “Executive Action” – Advice on How to Proceed
We have some very basic advice concerning the new “Executive Action” since there is nothing to do right now, other than to begin to gather documentation. The President’s announcement was only that, an “announcement.” The controlling agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), needs to enact rules which control the process and documentation required. There will be two steps, the first, for those covered under DACA, see below, the rules will be published sometime in February, 2015; the second, for those covered by DAPA, see below, the rules will be published in May, 2015. You can expect that shortly thereafter USCIS will accept applications.
The most important thing you can do right now is begin to collect the following information we anticipate you will need in order to file:
– Collect records to show that you have lived in the U.S. such as employment records, leases, bank records, medical records, and/or school records.
– If you have ever been arrested, we suggest that you do an “FBI record check” as soon as possible to review your record. Obtain certified dispositions for your arrests. Collect your original birth certificates, for yourself and your children (if any), passports, marriage and divorce certificates, adoption records, or any other identification documents.
– Make sure your taxes are filed, paid, and accurate. If you are married, your tax forms must state “married.” Do not include non-qualifying dependents.
– If you have ever had any encounter with Immigration authorities, whether at the border or not, you should request a copy of your file from your attorney or file a “Freedom of Information Act” request with the government.
– Save up to pay the filing fee: $465 (estimated), plus mailing costs and attorneys’ fees if you will need the assistance of an attorney.
Many other sources have discussed the requirements. We have summarized them as follows:
Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”)
1. Entered the U.S. before January 1, 2010;
2. Entered when 15 years of age or younger;
3. Continuously resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010;
4. Must be physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of the filing of the request;
5. In school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Services;
6. No serious criminal convictions. Note: if you have any criminal convictions other than minor traffic offenses, e.g., speeding, stop sign, (DUI is serious), you must consult with an Immigration Attorney before applying.
Deferred Action for Parent Accountability (“DAPA”)
1. Have a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
2. Have continuously resided in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2010;
3. Must be physically present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 and at the time of the filing of the request;
4. Not an enforcement priority, i.e., there are no serious criminal convictions (must consult with Immigration attorney)
Good for 3 years. $465 filing fee. Will begin to accept applications May, 2015.
The President’s Executive Action also covers eligibility for the new provisional waiver program started in 2012 concerning those who must leave the U.S. in order to get their residency (i.e., Green Card). It expands it to include those who are the spouses or children of Legal Permanent Residents, not only U.S. citizens.
If you wish to learn more about the basic requirements, you can go to the government’s own website at http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction