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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: NOVEMBER 21, 2014 EXECUTIVE ACTION UPDATE
President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration
On November 20th, 2014, President Obama issued an Executive order to provide temporary legal status and work authorization to Immigrant Parents who have U.S. Citizen or Resident children (born before November 20th 2014) and expanded eligibility to include more DREAMERS.
The new expanded “Deferred Action” program, qualifying immigrants will have much of the same opportunities as those who have U.S. Residency (Green Cards), allowing them to work, drive, attend school, join the military and live the American Dream - while waiting for Congress to officially pass a law which will provides a permanent Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
Deferred action will be granted in 3 year increments. Eligible Immigrants who are approved, will receive a Work Authorization card , can apply for a Social Security Card, Driver’s License.
Deferred Action Expansion under the
“Immigration Accountability Executive Action” Program
For Parents (DAP) and DREAMERS (DACA)
Explanation, Guidelines & Fees
Introduction To The New “Executive Action” (Deferred Action) Program
Parents: Deferred Action (DAP) for Parents of U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents:
**Scheduled to be implemented Spring 2015
In order to qualify Parents must:
DREAMERS: Deferred Action Expansion (DACA) for DREAMERS:
**Scheduled to be implemented approximately February 2015
1) Have a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident (Green Card holder) child born before November 20, 2014 AND
2) Have been in the U.S. continuously for at least 5 years since January 1, 2010, (**if you left the U.S. during that time, you may still qualify, we will review your circumstances)
3) Not have been convicted of a serious criminal offense, felony or major or multiple Misdemeanors (**options are still available for some convictions, we will review and provide legal advice based upon your circumstances).
4) File taxes in the “future” once the Parent obtains Deferred Action status (there is no requirement for the filing of taxes in the past)
In order to qualify, Immigrants must:
1) Have been inside the U.S. since January 1, 2010 AND
2) Have entered the U.S. before age 16;
3) There are no limits on your current age.
4) Meet Educational Requirements (see below)
5) Not have been convicted of a serious criminal offense, felony or major or multiple Misdemeanors (**options are still available for some convictions, we will review and provide legal advice based upon your circumstances).
Major highlights of the new (DAP) For Parents and (DACA) DREAMERS program:
USCIS Filing Fees: $ 465 (Includes total USCIS Filing Fees for Work Authorization as well) Work Authorization Period:Issued for 3 Years & Renewable
Travel Permission: Not automatic. Can be requested once Deferred Action is granted under the new program. An additional USCIS Filing Fee of $445 ($360 plus $85 Biometrics) will be required. Note that while travel can be requested, the DHS has decided that approval will be limited to emergency travel related to those for Humanitarian purposes, Education and Work (will require proof of eligibility). Those granted Deferred Action are not allowed to travel abroad until they have received travel permission called “Advance Parole”
Date of Entry For Eligibility: Individuals who entered the U.S. on or before January 1, 2010 are eligible for Deferred Action under the new program.
Status For Eligibility: Only individuals who are currently not in status and were not in any lawful status on November 20, 2014 are eligible for Deferred Action under the new program. This means that individuals who are currently maintaining legal status on a nonimmigrant visa such as (F-1, L-2, E-2, H-4) and even those who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are not eligible unless proof is provided that the Immigrant had failed to maintain lawful status and was in fact in “unlawful” status as of November 20, 2014. Individuals with Asylum, cancellation of removal, or similar cases pending as of November 20, 2014, who had no lawful status also qualify for deferred action.
Safety of Applying: The DHS had decided that Information applicant’s provide on the form will be kept confidential, including all information relating to family members or legal guardians. This means that making an application will not jeopardize other family member who may not be eligible for the program.
Additional Requirements For (DACA) DREAMERS only:
School:Must either have graduated High School or GED or be currently enrolled in school at the time of application. That means legally registered in school. Age Requirements to apply: For most children, the minimum age to apply is 15. So for children who are not 15 years old yet, once a child reaches age 15 in the future, as long as the child is in school, he or she is eligible to apply for Deferred Action under the Childhood Arrivals program. However, for children who are in deportation or removal proceedings, or who have a final removal or a voluntary departure order, but not in immigration detention, a Deferred Action request can be made at any time, even if the child is under age 15. There is no limit on the individual’s current age Deportation/Removal Orders: Individuals who have deportation or removal order are eligible to apply without additional requirements to go through the immigration court
Criminal: Non-significant Misdemeanors- means any misdemeanor (in which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is one year or less but greater than five days) and is not an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; and in which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less. Minor traffic offenses, such as driving without a license, are not considered misdemeanors that count toward the "3 or more" standard.
Significant Misdemeanors -The DHS will deem “significant” any misdemeanor, regardless of the sentence imposed, involving burglary, domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, unlawful possession of firearms, driving under the influence, or drug distribution or trafficking. In addition, any other misdemeanor for which an applicant was sentenced to more than 90 days in jail, not including suspended sentences and time held pursuant to immigration detention.
Felonies -Offenses qualify as a felonies are those federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
Fee Waivers:Waivers of paying the USCIS Filing Fees will not be available. Fee Exemptions, however, can be requested, but they must be requested and approved prior to filing for Deferred Action. DHS has made it clear that Fee Exemptions will only be granted in very limited cases where a child is under age 18 and either homeless, in foster care or without parental or familial support, or the individual (age 15 – 30) cannot care for themselves due to a serious, chronic disability or the individual (age 15 – 30) has accumulated $25,000 or more in debts in the past 12 months as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses for themselves or an immediate family member. In all cases, the applicant’s income must be less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level. Extensive documentation of meeting the eligibility for a Fee Exemption will be required at the time of application. Denials-No Appeal: If a case is denied, there will be no chance to get the case reviewed or appeal the decision. Only applications which have been denied for “abandonment” (meaning failure to respond to a Request for Evidence by the deadline) because the USCIS mailed the Request for Evidence to the wrong address, as long as the applicant filed a Change of Address (Form AR-11) before the USCIS Request was issued.
We Can Help Make Your Dreams Come True!
We are currently representing Immigrants in preparing cases in accordance with USCIS requirements, fully documenting eligibility, reviewing criminal issues and absences from the U.S. and providing critical legal advice on options available. We provide you with complete list of documents and advice to prove your eligibility, file the application for Deferred Action and Work Authorization and provide legal advice and representation throughout the entire process. Contact us today!
Call Now: (954) 382-5378