Published: February 3, 2015
The first stage of implementation of President Obama’s Executive Order on immigration is set for February 18, 2015. Importantly, on that date it is only the expanded class of “childhood arrivals” that gets to submit applications, and not the other larger class of undocumented individuals who did not necessarily arrive in the U.S. as children (implementation of that program is expected in May 2015). Applicants qualifying under this new expanded DACA program will be issued a 3 year unrestricted employment authorization document, and a shield against removal proceedings for at least a 3 year period.
For the expanded class of childhood arrivals, applicants will need to document their arrival in the U.S. prior to turning age 16 AND that they have been continuously present in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 and up to the present. However, the applicant’s age on date of application filing is no longer an issue. That is, the previous requirement that applicants must be under 31 years of age on June 1, 2012 – the original implementation date – has been done away with. The applicant can be any age on the date of their application, and now eligible applicants under this expanded class include those who:
A) are in school, have completed high school or their G.E.D., or are an honorably discharged veteran from the U.S. armed forces or Coast Guard,
B) have continuously resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 (as opposed to the previous cut off of June 15, 2007) and up to the present,
C) have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor, or 3 “insignificant” misdemeanors,
D) came to the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday,
E) entered the U.S. without inspection prior to January 1, 2010, or whose immigration status expired as of that date and
F) were physically present in the U.S. on January 1, 2010, and at the time of submitting the DACA
With the submission of the appropriate applications, a $465.00 filing fee will be required as will supporting documentation establishing the applicant’s claim of eligibility. After filing their application package, approved applicants can expect to be scheduled for biometric fingerprint processing within approximately 6 weeks, and from there, they can expect to receive their employment authorization some 90-180 days later.
Prospective applicants would be wise to seek legal counsel before filing their applications, especially those with any criminal background whatsoever.
PUBLISHED February 3, 2015– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2015, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois