On November 20, 2014 President Obama made a landmark announcement when he discussed his plan to issue an Executive Order that would do two things; first, it would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more commonly referred to as DACA. Next he announced plans to accept requests for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, now known as DAPA. Many individuals are anxiously awaiting more information about the new expansions. In an effort to help individuals understand who will be eligible, USCIS has issued some guidelines about who may expect to qualify.
The new guidelines for the DACA expansion include individuals who:
- Moved to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
- Consistently lived in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2010 to present;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Had physical presence in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as when requesting for deferred action consideration with USCIS;
- Currently attending, graduated, or completed high school, have obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or are a veteran who has been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces or U.S. Coast Guard; and
- Have no criminal record of serious or multiple misdemeanors or felonies and pose no threat to the safety of the public or the nation's security.
The guidelines for the new DAPA program include individuals who:
- Have lived in the United States continuously since Jan. 1, 2010, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on Nov. 20, 2014, and at the time of making their request for consideration of DAPA with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on Nov. 20, 2014;
- Had, on Nov. 20, 2014, a son or daughter, of any age or marital status, who is a U.S. citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR); and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; do not otherwise pose a threat to national security; and are not an enforcement priority for removal.
USCIS expects to begin accepting applications for these newly announced programs shortly. They have announced that applications for the DACA expansions will be accepted beginning February 18. It is also anticipated that DAPA applications will be accepted in May of this year. If you or a loved one are unclear if you qualify, or would like to begin the immigration process, contact the experienced attorneys at Kang & Associates for more information.