Despite the frequent changes and amendments to the proposed immigration reform legislation, it seems one group should benefit no matter what the final version of the legislation looks like as long as it is passed – DREAMers. DREAMers are people who were brought to the U.S. illegally (or overstayed their authorized period of stay) as children. Certain DREAMers are now eligible [Read more…] about With Possible Immigration Reform, Eligible DREAMers Should Apply Now for Deferred Action
The long-awaited Immigration Reform Bill passed its test run with flying colors, with the Senate voting 84-15 in favor of progressing with the necessary legal reforms that would legalize the situation of over 11 million immigrants. “A permanent, common-sense solution to our dysfunctional system is in sight. This bipartisan legislation is [Read more…] about Immigration Reform Bill Passes First Crucial Hurdle
Last month, the Senate’s Gang of Eight released its long-awaited immigration reform bill. Entitled the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, it has been hailed as a response to a plethora of issues plaguing Asian, African, Latino and Caribbean families, yet thus far, the bill seems to be [Read more…] about The Immigration Reform Bill and its Effect on Family Reunification
President Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that certain foreign nationals who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16, and who were under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, can apply for protection for two years from deportation and work authorization. This new policy and process is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published the following tips to assist applicants:
Filing your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals involves several steps. You need to submit multiple forms, evidence and fees. Small mistakes in preparing your request could lead to it being rejected. Please read these tips to avoid having your request rejected or delayed because of common filing errors.
1. Mail all forms together – You must mail the following forms in one package:
a. For Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Click here.
b. For Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, Click here.
c. For Form I-765WS, Worksheet, Click here.
***Be sure to read these mailing instructions to see where to mail the forms based on the state you live in. Remember to send it to the P.O. Box address if mailing through the U.S. Postal Service. All forms are available at www.uscis.gov/forms for free. Do not pay for blank USCIS forms either in person or over the Internet.
2. Sign your forms – You must sign both your Form I-821D and Form I-765. If someone helps you fill out the forms, that person must also sign both Form I-812D and Form I-765 in the designated box below your signature.
3. Write your name and date of birth the same way on each form – Variations in the way information is written can cause delays. For example, you should not write Jane Doe on one form and Jane E. Doe on another form. It is important to read all instructions on the forms carefully.
4. Use the correct version of Form I-765 – Always make sure you have the most recent form when submitting your request with USCIS. to download the most recent version. You can download all USCIS forms and instructions for free on www.uscis.gov/forms.
5. Use Form I-821D NOT Form I-821 – Form I-821D is used to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. Form I-821 is a different form used to apply for Temporary Protected Status, an entirely different process.
6. Do NOT e-file Form I-765 – Requests for consideration of deferred action cannot be e-filed. You must mail your package (Forms I-821D, I-765, I-765WS, evidence and fees) to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox listed here.
7. Submit correct fees –The fee to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals is $465 and cannot be waived. There are fee exemptions (click for instructions) available only in limited circumstances. You may submit separate checks of $380 and $85, or one single check of $465.
8. Answer all questions completely and accurately – If an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” leave the space blank. To ensure your request is accepted for processing, be sure to complete these required form fields:
Form I-821D: Name, Address, Date of Birth
Form I-765: Name, Address, Date of Birth, Eligibility Category
9. Provide all required supporting documentation and evidence – You must submit all required evidence and supporting documentation. These documents are required for USCIS to make a decision on your request. Please organize and label your evidence by the guideline it meets.
10. If you make an error on a form, start over with a clean form – USCIS prefers that you type your answers into the form and then print it. If you are filling out your form by hand, use black ink. If you make a mistake, please start over with a new form. Scanners will see through white out or correction tape and this could lead to the form being processed as incorrect, and lead to processing delays or denial.
11. Carefully review age guidelines before filing – If you have never been in removal (deportation) proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing.
You cannot be the age of 31 or older as of June 15, 2012, to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
To ensure that your request is accepted for processing, it is important that you review your entire request package before you file with USCIS. A consultation with an experienced immigration attorney is highly recommended to confirm your eligibility, inform you of risks and watchouts, and advise you regarding future potential options to legalize your status and of the best evidence to submit (and not to submit) to increase your chances of approval of your Deferred Action request. Contact The Law Office of Tanya M. Lee today at 480-559-9529 for a confidential consultation.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano recently testified before Congress about the Deferred Action for DREAMers program that was announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012. In her testimony she provided the following announcements and clarification:
- August 1, 2012 – DHS is expected to explain the application process
- August 15, 2012 Applications are expected to begin to be accepted
- Fees. $465 for both the work authorization and biometrics. However, there is a strong likelihood there will be a separate fee for deferred action.
- Maximum age for eligibility. Applicants younger than 31 on June 15, 2012 will be eligible to apply. DHS had previously indicated that applicants could not be over 30 in order to be eligible, which left many questions as to whether a person could be eligible until his or her 31st birthday, and whether the eligibility consideration was as of the date of application or the June 15, 2012 announcement. This has now been clarified.
The Law Office of Tanya M. Lee, PLLC will host a free conference call on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. Pacific/Arizona time to discuss and answer questions about the application process announced by DHS. Space is limited to the first 95 callers. You can dial in from any telephone at (559) 726-1000. The participant access code is 106826#.
President Obama and Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced the availability of “deferred action,” or temporary protection from removal (deportation), and eligibility for work authorization, for certain people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The government has up to 60 days from June 15, 2012 – the date the policy was announced – to provide guidance for the application procedure. No applications will be accepted until the process has been defined and announced by the government.
Naturally, many people who believe they may qualify are wondering, “what can I do now in order to be able to apply as soon as the government begins accepting requests?” Here are three suggestions.
Three Things You Can Do Now to Prepare
- Stay out of trouble. To be eligible for the relief under this new policy, you must not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offense, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. If you do not have any prior criminal offenses, that’s great – be sure to keep it that way.
- Save money. The government has not indicated whether there will be filing fees associated with this request, but it has already indicated the following:
- A background check (including biometrics/fingerprinting) will be required,
- A person eligible for this relief will be eligible for a work permit.
Currently, the fee for biometrics is $85, and the fee for a standalone work permit application currently is $380. It remains to be seen whether these fees will apply for this policy, and whether or not additional filing fees will apply, but you can bet there will be some fees charged by the government to review your request. In addition, you may want or need to hire an experienced immigration attorney, such as The Law Office of Tanya M. Lee, to confirm your eligibility, advise you on the documents you need to submit to prove your eligibility, prepare the forms and letter advocating why you should be granted the relief, and to correspond and negotiate with the government on your behalf. This means you should budget for legal fees as well. In sum, start saving money for this investment in your future – you will be able to pay yourself back through your legitimate earnings after you receive your work permit.
- Start gathering documents to prove you qualify. There will be many documents you will need to provide to the government to prove you are eligible for relief and the work permit under this new policy. Don’t wait until the government announces it is ready to accept applications – get started now on gathering your documents. Below are the eligibility criteria followed by a checklist of documents that you can begin to gather now to prove your eligibility.
Eligibility for Deferred Action (Temporary Protection from Removal/Deportation)
According to Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary Janet Napolitano’s memo issued June 15, 2012, in order to be eligible for deferred action for a period of two years (renewable), individuals must:
- Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and have been present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or be honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
- Not be above the age of thirty.
Preferred Documents to Submit as Proof of Eligibility – Begin Gathering Now!
1. To prove you came to the U.S. under age 16 …
… collect financial/bank records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records.
2a. To prove you have continuously resided in the U.S. for the last 5 years prior to June 15, 2012 …
… collect financial/bank, medical, school, employment, and military records.
2b. To prove you were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012…
… collect financial/bank, medical, school, employment, and military records.
3a. To prove you are currently in school, have graduated, or obtained your GED certificate…
… collect diplomas, GED certificate, report cards, and school transcripts.
3b. To prove you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces
… collect your report of separation form, military personnel records, military health records.
4. To prove you have not been convicted of certain disqualifying criminal offenses …
… gather court records and police reports for an analysis by an attorney to determine your eligibility prior to application; be prepared for the government’s background check including fingerprinting
5. To prove you are not older than thirty…
… obtain the original or certified copy of your birth certificate listing your parent(s); if not in English, get a certified English translation
CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY BEFORE APPLYING
Before submitting a request for deferred action under this new policy, it is important for you to understand what the new policy can and cannot offer you, what the risks are of applying, the eligibility requirements and the supporting documents needed to prove you qualify, and the process, timing, and fees involved in making the request.
To have an experienced attorney assess your eligibility, or if you have any further questions including which documents you should submit to prove eligibility in your specific case, please fill out our contact form or contact The Law Office of Tanya M. Lee, PLLC at email@example.com, (480) 559-9529 (English) and (623) 349-1351 (English and Español). The firm is authorized under federal law to assist clients located in all 50 U.S. states and abroad with matters of immigration and nationality law.
WASHINGTON— La Secretaria de Seguridad Nacional, Janet Napolitano, anunció hoy que con vigencia inmediata, ciertos jóvenes que entraron en los Estados Unidos siendo niños jóvenes, que no presentan un riesgo para la seguridad nacional ni para la seguridad pública y que cumplen con varios criterios clave serán considerados para recibir alivio contra la deportación o contra el inicio del proceso de deportación. Aquéllos que demuestren que cumplen con los criterios serán elegibles para recibir la acción diferida durante un período de dos años, sujeto a renovación, y serán elegibles para solicitar la autorización de empleo.
“Las leyes de inmigración de nuestro país deben hacerse cumplir de una manera firme y sensata”, comentó la Secretaria Napolitano. “Pero no están diseñadas para hacerse cumplir ciegamente sin tener en cuenta las circunstancias individuales de cada caso. Ni están diseñadas para deportar a jóvenes productivos a países donde puede que no hayan vivido nunca o que ni siquiera hablen el idioma. En estos casos, la discreción, la cual se utiliza en tantas otras áreas, está especialmente justificada”.
El DHS continúa centrando sus recursos de aplicación de la ley en la deportación de individuos que presentan un peligro para la seguridad nacional o la seguridad pública, incluidos inmigrantes condenados por delitos, criminales violentos, delincuentes y transgresores reincidentes de la ley de inmigración. La acción de hoy mejora aún más la capacidad del Departamento para centrarse en estas deportaciones de máxima prioridad.
Bajo esta directiva, los individuos que demuestren que cumplen con los siguientes criterios serán elegibles para el ejercicio de la discreción, específicamente la acción diferida, considerado caso por caso:
- vino a los Estados Unidos siendo menor de dieciséis años de edad;
- ha residido ininterrumpidamente en los Estados Unidos durante al menos cinco años antes de la fecha de este memorándum y está presente en los Estados Unidos en la fecha de este memorándum;
- está asistiendo actualmente a la escuela, se ha graduado de la enseñanza secundaria, ha obtenido un certificado de desarrollo de educación general, o es un veterano que ha sido dado de alta con honores de los Guardacostas o las Fuerzas Armadas de los Estados Unidos
- no ha sido condenado por un delito mayor, un delito menor significativo, múltiples delitos menores ni representa una amenaza para la seguridad nacional o la seguridad pública;
- no es mayor de treinta años de edad.
Sólo aquellos individuos que puedan demostrar mediante documentación verificable que cumplen con estos criterios serán elegibles para la acción diferida. Los individuos no serán elegibles si no se encuentran actualmente en los Estados Unidos y no pueden probar que han estado presentes físicamente en los Estados Unidos durante un período no inferior a 5 años inmediatamente anterior a la fecha de hoy. Las solicitudes de acción diferida se decidirán individualmente caso por caso. El DHS no puede dar ninguna garantía de que dichas solicitudes sean concedidas. El uso de la discreción procesal no otorga ningún derecho fundamental, estatus migratorio ni camino hacia la ciudadanía. Solo el Congreso, actuando a través de su autoridad legislativa, puede otorgar estos derechos.
Aunque esta guía entra en vigor inmediatamente, se espera que USCIS e ICE comiencen la implementación del proceso de solicitud en un plazo de sesenta días.
A los individuos que ya estén en el proceso de deportación y se haya demostrado que cumplen con los criterios de elegibilidad y se les haya ofrecido el ejercicio de la discreción como parte de la revisión individual en curso de casos de ICE, ICE comenzará a ofrecerles inmediatamente la acción diferida durante un período de dos años, sujeto a renovación.
Para obtener más información y asistencia, por favor póngase en contacto con la abogada de inmigración Tanya Lee al 623.349.1351 y firstname.lastname@example.org.