On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced several changes to U.S. immigration policy.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be granting a temporary form of
immigration protection called “deferred action” to individuals who meet certain requirements. Under this executive action, individuals who meet the following criteria may be eligible:
- Undocumented individuals who have lived continuously in the United States since January 1, 2010 and who are parents of U.S. citizen or permanent resident children;
- Undocumented individuals who arrived to the United States before the age of 16 and who have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 and who meet other requirements.
There are other requirements that will also need to be met. There is more information available on the DHS website.
What is Deferred Action?Deferred action essentially means that the government knows an individual is in the country without permission but will not try to deport them. It allows the person to apply for a work permit and be free from the fear of deportation. Deferred action is not permanent status and will not, in itself, allow someone to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
How Can I Apply?YOU CANNOT APPLY YET FOR THE NEW PROGRAMS. The application period will NOT open for several months. We urge potential applicants to be very cautious, as these types of announcements have generated opportunities for scams in the past.
Should I Apply for this Program if I Qualify?This is a decision that you will have to make, but we urge you to make that decision only after you consult with an attorney specializing in immigration who can explain your options and the risks in your individual case.
How Can I Get More Information?
Karol Brown and World One Law Group will be providing events around Washington State to provide additional information, and personalized assistance. We will also be scheduling consultations with potential applicants to review your qualifications and to provide information on the documents you will need to gather.
Please continue to check our website at karolbrown.com for more information, dates, and times. If you would like to host a free presentation about these new developments, please contact our office at 425-519-3617 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is There Anything I Can Do Now if I May Qualify?There are several steps you can take right now to prepare for this application process:
- Start collecting documentation showing that you meet the requirements and that you have been living in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. However, do NOT submit anything to the government until you get a legal consultation and the application period is open.
- If you have had any problems with the police or the courts, you may also want to collect any documents you can about those cases or request these documents from the police department or court involved;
- You may want to begin saving money to pay for application fees and other costs;
- Stay informed and beware of scams;
- You should not travel outside the U.S., as this may make you ineligible for the programs.