Dreamer Deferred Action Overview

Dreamer Deferred Action Overview

As many know, last summer President Obama grew tired of the inaction on the Dream Act and decided to provide Dreamer deferred action (DACA) to qualifying individuals who had entered the United States before the age of 16 and did not currently have lawful immigration status.  The following is meant to give a detailed, but nonexhaustive overview of the program. To learn more, please contact a Capital Region immigration lawyer.

Dreamer Deferred Action gives qualifying individuals two years of legal status, during which time they are eligible for work authorization within the United States.  Deferred action does not lead to permanent residency within the United States, or U.S. Citizenship.

Basic Eligibility Requirements:

The basic criteria for DACA eligibility is:

  • Be under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012,
  • Entered the United States before the age of 16,
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since at least June 15, 2007,
  • Have no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012,
  • Be present in the United States on June 15, 2012,
  • Have graduated from high school (or obtained a GED), and
  • Not been convicted of certain criminal actions.

In addition, there are a few other questions that should be examined before an applicant applies for DACA relief.  A competent immigration lawyer can review these eligibility requirements with you.

DACA Frequently Asked Questions:

If granted, will an Applicant be Able to Work?

Yes.  Once the DACA application is approved with work authorization, the DACA recipient is eligible to work for the duration of the work authorization document.

How Long Will Dreamer Deferred Action Status Last?

DACA is initially granted for two years.  After those two years, it should be possible to reapply for another two years.  However, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has indicated that he will end the DACA program if he is elected President – So stay tuned – there are no promises.

Are all Criminal Convictions a Bar to DACA Eligibility?

No.  Not all.  However, many criminal convictions are.  Therefore, it is necessary to speak to an immigration lawyer to determine your eligibility before you apply.

What if An Applicant Left the Country For a Short Time?

Leaving the country prior to the announcement does not automatically eliminate one from being eligible for DACA.  However, eligibility will be judged on a case-by-case basis and an immigration lawyer would be best able to determine an individual’s situation.

Application Forms and Process:

The DACA process is mostly paper-based and requires a mailed submission to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Agency ( the U.S. Immigration Agency).  The submission includes at least two immigration forms, documentary evidence of eligibility, and a government filing fee of $465.

Once the application is submitted, the government will provide a receipt notice and schedule a biometrics interview.  At the biometrics interview, the applicant will be required to provide their fingerprints and have their photo taken.

Free Legal Assistance:

Numerous organizations and entities are providing free legal assistance to Dreamer Deferred Action hopefuls,  New York State is also attempting to help qualified applicants.

Although Gafner Law Firm can not endorse the assistance that any of these organizations can or will provide, these organizations will hopefully provide some clarity to those applicants unable to pay for an attorney.

New York Capital Region Dreamer Deferred Action Lawyer Assistance

If you wish to discuss your situation on an individual basis, please contact a New York Capital Region DACA lawyer.   A qualified immigration lawyer can analysis your eligiblity, discuss the application process, and provide a necessary document list.

Gafner Law Firm can provide such direction during an immigration consultation on the Dreamer Deferred Action process.   If you subsequently decide to retain the firm to guide you through the DACA process, the cost of the immigration consultation will be deducted from the DACA process legal fees.

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