On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he would be granting deferred action to certain parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Deferred action is the same benefit that was offered to childhood arrivals (DACA) that has essentially been extended to another, larger group of people.
DO I QUALIFY?
· You must have a U.S. citizen child or lawful permanent resident child on this date. Children born after 11/20/2014 will not make you eligible.
· You must have lived continuously in the U.S. since before January 1, 2014.
· You must be physically in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 and the date you apply for DAPA.
· You must not be in lawful status as of November 20, 2014.
· You must not be an enforcement priority to ICE because of criminal issues. This means you cannot have a felony conviction or a serious misdemeanor. If you have a question about whether a conviction is considered serious, contact us soon to discuss.
WHEN CAN I APPLY?
President Obama has instructed immigration to be ready to accept applications for DAPA within 180 days, so the estimated start date for receiving application will be approximately May, 2015.
YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO APPLY NOW. This is important. Though we know more or less what the forms will be and what documentation will be required, if you file your application before time you risk losing your filing fee, and your case will be denied or rejected. There will be notarios and unethical attorneys taking money now and promising to file cases now. Don’t be fooled!
WHAT CAN I DO TO GET READY NOW?
· You should save money, if you have not done so already. The filing fees will be around $465 (just as with DACA).
· Schedule an appointment ASAP if you have any criminal issues to help determine if they will affect your DAPA application.
· Visit an attorney to review the specific facts of your case and get information so that you are ready to file when applications are ready to be accepted.
· Get your passport! You will need this at various stages of the application process. Do this now, as there will likely be a wait time with your consulate.
· See an accountant. Make sure that your taxes are in order for the last several years. Immigration will be requesting these as part of the application process. We can provide you the contact information for some trusted and fair accountants who can assist.
· Gather documents. You will need to file documents with your application to show that you are eligible for DAPA. The following list is a good starting point of documents you will need to provide:
1. Two passport size photographs;
2. Copy of passport biographical page of passport, visas and forms I-94;
3. Copy of birth certificates for you and your children;
4. Copy of marriage certificate or divorce, if applicable;
5. Copy of every court case on record, specifically any criminal convictions, and copies of all police reports, and proof and that all traffic tickets have been paid;
6. Copies of any immigration documents you may have;
7. Copy of college transcripts, degree, and other evidence of you attending post high-school courses, if any;
8. Proof of presence before and since January 1, 2010:
ü Tax returns filed by you, or including you;
ü Past leases, receipts, records dating to before that date which show living in the United States;
ü Affidavits from relatives, friends, teachers, employers, neighbors attesting to your presence in the United States;
ü Photographs placing you in the US before 2010; and
ü School records if you attended school in the U.S.