Katy Strait Chavez, Attorney-at-Law

Immigration Benefits for Young Immigrants- DREAMers

                                                                                                        Preguntas Comunes                 Frequently Asked Questions

NEWS UPDATE:  JULY 25, 2012
Unofficial details about Deferred Action have been released.  Read my bog page for more details.  blog.katychavez.com

The Obama Administration has announced a new immigration benefit, called Deferred Action for young immigrants that meet certain requirements.  These requirements are:

-Applicant must be under 30 years old
-Applicant must have entered the United States before the age of 16
-Applicant must have been present on June 15, 2012, and for at least five years before
-Applicant must not have any serious criminal convictions
-Applicant must have a high school diploma, GED, or currently be enrolled in school 

It is very important that the Deferred Action package be complete before submitting it because there will not be any opportunity for an appeal or to reapply. If you cannot convince the examiner that you deserve the benefit you will not get another chance, so it is very important to have a strong case prepared.  I strongly recommend that every applicant look for a licensed attorney or certified non-profit agency that specializes in these types of cases.

You can apply for this benefit even if you are applying for other types of relief, such as benefits through a US Citizen spouse. It may be possible to apply even if you left for a brief time and came back

We do not yet know if travel outside the United States will be allowed.  I am guessing that the permit will not eliminate the bars for unlawful presence, and so most people will not be able to travel.  When more information is available we will post it on our website.

If you would like to read detailed answers and analysis on this topic, please check my blog, blog.katychavez.com

To begin handling your case we need:
-A deposit of at least $50.
-Copy of your birth certificate (if it is in English or Spanish we do not need a translation.  If it is in any other language we need you to provide a translation)
-proof of your presence in the United States on June 15, 2012
-Proof of your presence in the United States for the five years before 6/15/2007 to 6/15/2012
-Your entire school record from each school
-Your pediatrician or medical records
-Proof that you graduated high school, or have your G.E.D., or proof that you are currently enrolled in school.  If you do not yet have a diploma or G.E.D. you should work on enrolling in school as soon as possible.
-If you have *ever* been charged with any crime, you need tell me as many details as possible and I will get your records
-list of work and addresses for last five years
My fee is $300. and it appears the fee to USCIS is $465.

You can either come to my office in Downtown Raleigh, scan and email me the documents, or send them by mail.



 Frequently Asked Questions about Deferred Action, also known as DREAM youth benefits.

If you are between 15 and 30 years old and have been in the US for at least 5 years, and since before turning 16 you may be able to get a work permit.  We used to call you DREAM youth.  Although this is not the DREAM Act, it s a temporary measure that will help DREAM youth.

Do I have to be in Deportation\Removal to apply?  No.  Those that have never been in removal will be able to apply to USCIS, probably by submitting a form with their proofs.

Do I have to be from Mexico?  No.  You can be from any country, and you can have entered illegally or with a visa.

If I am denied can I be deported?  It is possible.  If you apply and you have a criminal record, you may get denied and then deported.  Similarly, if you have committed immigration fraud in the past, or you lie in the application, you can be denied and deported.  For these reasons it is very important that an attorney review your case.  For example, if you have three convictions for driving without a license, you can be denied.

Can I apply if I have a spouse or children?  Yes, USCIS has not said that benefits are only available to unmarried applicants or those without children.  In fact, they have specifically said that benefits are not available through the program for the spouses and children, indicating that they do not plan to exclude married immigrants nor parents.

Can I apply if I never graduated high school?  You will need to either enroll in school or get your GED.  However you can still apply after you get your GED even if you did not have it on June 15, 2012.

Can I apply if I entered when I was 15 and I have been here for 18 years?  No.  The program is limited to those that are UNDER 31.

Can I apply if I am under 15?  Not unless you are in removal.  If you are not currently in removal you will need to wait until you turn 15 before you can submit the application.

If Romney gets elected will I lose my work permit?  We do not know of the program will end if Romney gets elected, but he will have the power to immediately end the program, and to even deny those that have applications pending.  Work permits that have already been issues should still be valid until they expire in two years.  But those applications still pending may never get approved. 

If my wife is a US Citizen, and I am currently applying for residency through the consular process (where I need to leave the country), can I still use the program?  Yes, USCIS has not indicated that it will not grant work permits to those that are also in the process of applying for other types of relief.

Does a person have to live in North Carolina for you to help?  No, I can help people no matter where they live, as long as they were in the United States on June 15, 2012.

When can we apply?  The beginning date to submit applications will be in midAugust, but you should begin working on your case right away, because it will be so important to apply early to avoid losing your opportunity in the case that Romney is elected.  You should contact us as soon as possible.

Is this the DREAM Act?  No, this is a temporary measure created by changing the policy within USCIS and ICE.  THe DREAM act would be a new law.  The DREAM Act would have led to permanent residency.  This Deferred Action will only offer a work permit and will not lead to residency.  With residency a person is guaranteed to be able travel outside the country, and study at in-state rates.  We still hope that the DREAM Act will be passed so that young people will not need to plan their lives just two years at a time.

Will I be able to go to college if I am approved?  Many schools will currently allow anyone to study there regardless of immigration status.  However most public colleges in the country will charge very high out-of-state rates for those without immigration status, and will not grant financial aid.  We hope that most states will choose to grant in-state tuition to those that have been approved for Deferred Action.  That decision would be up to each state, however, and there is no guarantee.  However, if the DREAM Act were passed, then those that were approved would be able to attend schools in the place they reside at in-state rates. 

 Obama's Proceso de Acción Diferida - Preguntas Comunes

Tengo que estar en proceso de deportación para aplicar?  No.  Aquellas personas que nunca han estado en proceso de deportación pueden aplicar con USCIS, mandando el formulario y los comprobantes.

Tengo que ser de México?  No.  Usted puede ser de cualquier país, y puede ver entrado ilegal o con visa. 

Si mi aplicación es negada puedo ser deportado?  Es posible.  Si aplicas y tienes un record criminal, puede ser que seas negado y después deportado.  Al igual, si has cometido fraude de emigración en el pasado, o si mentisteis en tu aplicación, puedes ser negado y deportado.  Por estas razones es muy importante que n abogado revise su caso.  Por ejemplo, si tienes 3 convicciones de conducir sin licencia, su caso será negado.

Puedo aplicar si estoy casado/a or si tengo hijos?  Si.  USCIS no ha dicho que este beneficio será solo para personas solteras o esas que no tienen hijos.  Es mas, han dicho específicamente que por medio de este programa los cónyuges y/o hijos no recibirán beneficios, indicando que no excluirán a esas personas casados o que sean padres.

Puedo aplicar si no me graduado de la esuela superior (high school)?  Necesitas escribirte en la escuela o sacar su GED. Usted puede aplicar después de que obtenga su GED no importa que no lo tenia el 15 de Junio del 2012.

Puedo aplicar si entre cuando tenia 15 años y ahora tengo 18 años aquí? No.  El programa limita a las personas MENORES de 31.

Puedo aplicar si tengo menos de 15 años?  NO, al menos que estés en proceso de deportación.  Si no estas en proceso de deportación es necesario esperar hasta que tengas 15 annos para poder mandar su aplicación.

Si Romney gana la elección pierdo mi permiso de trabajo?  No sabemos si el programa terminara si Romney gana la elección, el si tendrá el poder de eliminar el programa por completo, y a la ves negar las aplicaciones que estén en el proceso.  Los permisos de trabajo que han sido aceptadas serán validos hasta su fecha de vencimiento en dos años.  Pero aquellas aplicaciones en el proceso puede ser que nunca sean aprobadas.

Mi esposa es una ciudadana americana.  Actualmente estoy aplicando por mi residencia por el proceso consular (donde salgo del país), aun puedo aplicar para este programa?  Si USCIS no ha indicado que no dará [permisos de trabajo a esos que están aplicado para otro tipo de beneficio. 

Es necesario que la persona viva en Carolina del Norte para que les ayudes? No. Yo puedo ayudar a la persona sin importar donde vivan, siempre y cuando  han estado dentro de los Estados Unidos el día 15 de Junio del 2012.

Cuando puedo aplicar?  La fecha principia para mandar las aplicación será a mitad de agosto, pero es importante empezar con su caso lo antes posible para evitar perder su oportunidad si Romney gana las elecciones.  Es importante que ese comunique conmigo lo antes posible.

Esto es el DRAM Act?  No, esta es un medio temporal criado al cambiar las políticas dentro de USCIS y ICE.  El DREAM Act sera una lei.  El DREAM Act daría residencia permanente.  Esta acción diferida solo ofrece permisos de trabajo y no da residencia.  Con residencia la persona es garantizada y puede viajar fuera del país, estudiar bajo costo de dentro de estado.  Esperamos que el DREAM Act pase así las personas no necesitan planificar sus vidas 2 anos a la ves.

Puedo ir a la universidad si me aprueban?  Muchas escuelas actualmente permiten que estudia la persona sin importar su estatus migratorio.  Pero muchos colegios públicos en el país pueden cobrar una tarifa de fuera del estado para esas personas que no tienen estatus migratorio y no les ofrecen ayuda financiera.  Esperamos que muchos estados decidan dar tarifas de dentro de estado para esos que han sido aprobados para la acción diferida.  Esa decesión será para cada estado, y no es garantizada.  Si el DREAM Act pasa, entonces esos aprobados pueden asistir escuelas en el lugar donde residen bajo tarifa de dentro de estado.

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