So how can you prepare for this executive action and when is it coming? Well we know for sure that some of the executive action is effective now. The changes in deportation priorities are taking effect right now.
The expanded DACA program for students will be ready, according to the guidance on the website, 90 days from when it was announced, so that means by the end of February. By the end of February, a person who was older than 31 at the time of the last DACA should be able to apply for the new one.
And the next one for parents – it might be called DAPA, deferred action for parents – that one will not be ready until the middle or probably the end of May. If the guidance from the last DACA in 2010 is any help for us, we can be pretty sure that there will be a form available on the website for each of these programs just as the program is going into effect. So watch the www.uscis.gov website for updates and details.
How can you prepare?
You can save money. We know that the fee for the program is going to be $465.00, which is the fee for a work permit. That’s number one. Number two: get proof of who you are. Get a good copy of your birth certificate. Get a copy of the birth certificate of any U.S. citizen children you may have, and remember : these should be official documents not the birth certificates given at a hospital that have the baby foot prints on them.
You need to document your physical presence. This is a serious requirement. The law says, not actually a law, but the guidance says you have to be able to prove you have been here since January 1, 2010. So, ideally you should have one document for each month of each year for the past 5 years.
If you have had any encounters with the police, or with immigration enforcement officers, or the immigration court, that could make youineligible for the program. You need to find out exactly what happened. If you were in court, you need to have your court documents. If you were arrested, you need to get the police documents. Almost any time you have talked to a police officer is a significant event. Please get documentation about that, and see an immigration lawyer before you decide to apply.
One of the most important things I want to say today is DON’T apply if you are not eligible. Find out more. The information is on the USCIS website. Before you decide to apply, take care in who you ask to help you. Be ware of people who say that they can get you that work permit really fast, or that you can apply now. Now, in December is too early. Be sure that you follow the rules. We think that this program is going to be a great thing and it will help millions of people. So, prepare yourself carefully, and apply when the time is open.