On August 3rd, USCIS announced that the latest name for the DREAM ACT or Deferred Action Program is “Childhood Arrivals”, which estimated to 1.8 eligible applicants. And, CIS also reminded applicants that this process is not yet in effect. Individuals who believe they meet the guidelines of this new process should not request consideration of deferred action before August 15, 2012. Requests submitted before August 15, 2012 will be rejected. There is a great deal of information about the Childhood Arrivals process available at the CIS website (http://www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals). Today we’ll look at the main points of the new process.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allows individuals who meet specific guidelines, to request consideration of deferred action from USCIS. If they receive deferred action, they will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States. If you receive deferred action, you may be eligible for employment authorization.
Both the deferred action and the employment authorization will be valid for 2 years, renewable, but note that this process does NOT lead to a Green Card.
You may request Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals if you meet the following guidelines:
· You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday
· You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
· You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
· You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
· You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained your certificate of completion from high school, have obtained your general educational development certification, or you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
· You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat
· You were present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
How do Childhood Arrivals applicants file forms with CIS?
· Collect documents as evidence you meet the guidelines
· Complete USCIS forms. The total fees will be $465. USCIS is still developing the forms. The forms and instructions will be available on the USCIS website on August 15, 2012.
· Mail USCIS forms and fees
· Visit your local USCIS Application Support Center for a scheduled biometrics services appointment
Some potential Childhood Arrival applicants may be reluctant to make their presence in the US known to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). However, as of August 15, 2012, ICE will be removed from the process of granting deferred action. Childhood Arrivals is primarily a benefits process, so USCIS, with primary control over the situation, will be able to offer smoother adjudication.
Q.1. Does deferred action provide me with a path to permanent residence status or citizenship?
A.1. No. Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion that does not confer lawful permanent resident status or a path to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.
Q.2. May I travel outside of the United States before USCIS has determined whether to defer action in my case?
A.2. No. After August 15, 2012, if you travel outside of the United States, you will not be considered for deferred action under this process. After CIS approves your deferred action request, you will be permitted to travel outside of the United States only if you receive advance parole from USCIS and if you are traveling for humanitarian purposes, educational purposes, or employment purposes
Q.3. Can I request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals under this process if I am currently in a nonimmigrant status (e.g. F-1, E-2, H-4)?
A.3. No. You can only request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals under this process if you currently have no immigration status and were not in any lawful status on June 15, 2012.
Q.4. What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I meet the requirements of the Childhood Arrivals process?
A.4. Information about what documentation you can submit will be provided on the USCIS website on August 15, 2012.
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