Latest News on DREAMer (Childhood Arrivals) Application Guidelines
Friday, August 03, 2012
See today’s USCIS Website posting for the latest information:
Some of the topics discussed are:
* About Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
* Guidelines for Requesting Consideration of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals
* Filing Process
* Cases in Other Immigration Processes
* Avoiding Scams and Preventing Fraud
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time; Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
4. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
5. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
6. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
7. Individuals may begin to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals on August 15, 2012. Please do not file before August 15. If you file early, your request will be rejected.
Individuals who can demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the guidelines set forth in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s memorandum.
Among the interesting highlights of today’s posting are:
The Age Requirement
The age will depend on whether the applicant has been in Removal Proceedings. If the applicant has never been in removal proceedings, or the proceedings have been terminated before the request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, one must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.
If the applicant is in removal proceedings, has a final removal order, or has a voluntary departure order, and is not in immigration detention, one can request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals even if they are under the age of 15 at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.
In all instances, one cannot be the age of 31 or older as of June 15, 2012 to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
The Currently in School Requirement
The “currently in school” requirement refers to the date on which the request for consideration of deferred action is filed. This is very good news. Many potential applicants who have not completed school will have an opportunity to enroll in High School Equivalency programs before they apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals and satisfy this requirement.
Departures from the U.S.
A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence. If you were absent from the United States for any period of time, your absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was before August 15, 2012, and the absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence. However, if the absence was because of order of voluntary departure, an administrative grant of voluntary departure, an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal the applicant will not qualify. Finally, the purpose of the absence and/or the applicant’s actions while outside the United States must not have been contrary to law.
Minor traffic offense, such as driving without a license, will be considered a non-significant misdemeanor that counts towards the “three or more non-significant misdemeanors” making the applicant unable to receive consideration for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this new process. A minor traffic offense will not be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of this process. However, one’s entire offense history can be considered along with other facts to determine whether, under the totality of the circumstances, one warrants an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. It is important to emphasize that driving under the influence is a significant misdemeanor regardless of the sentence imposed.
Beginning August 15, 2012, you will be required to submit your request for consideration of deferred action to USCIS through a form, along with a form requesting an employment authorization document. The total fees will be $465. USCIS is still developing the forms and will be submitting them to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Pending OMB clearance, the forms and instructions will be available on the USCIS website on August 15, 2012. Do not submit any request to USCIS before these forms are available. All requests received before August 15, 2012, will be rejected.
Please stay tuned to this Blog for further updates.
Written by: Roberto Gonzalez