Here’s what y…

 

Here’s what you need to know about the Deferred Action Program for immigrants

Three points of information about Deferred Action: Applications accepted starting Aug. 15; filing fee will be $465; those who qualify receive two years’ legal status

The Statue of Liberty stands tall in New York Bay, a beacon to immigrants worldwide.

AP The Statue of Liberty stands tall in New York Bay, a beacon to immigrants worldwide.

The Department of Homeland Security has provided more information on President Obama’s deferred action program. The filing fee will be $465 which will include the cost of getting an employment authorization document and the biometric (fingerprinting) fee. Those qualifying will receive two years’ legal status. DHS will issue an application form and begin accepting applications on August 15. Here’s the answer to some common questions about the program. I’ll answer more Friday.

Q. Who qualifies?

A. To get deferred action you must have arrived here while under the age of 16 and you must have been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012. You must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, to the present. You must be in school, have graduated high school, or have obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate. You must not have been convicted of three or more other misdemeanors, or one significant misdemeanor, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Q. I came here just after my 16th birthday. Do I qualify?

A. No. USCIS will strictly enforce the requirements that you arrived prior to age 16, that you were not yet 31 and that you had been here five years on June 15. Many readers have asked whether they should “try” to get deferred action if they were already 16 or older when they arrived here or if they were already 31 on June 15. They should not.

Q. What if I apply for deferred departure and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denies my application. Will I get deported?

A. USCIS will report applicants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement only if they have been convicted of a serious crime, they submit a fraudulent application, or they are a threat to national security. If your evidence is insufficient for the USCIS to approve your application, the agency will send you a request for more evidence. If you can’t provide it, USCIS will deny your application, but will not provide that information to ICE. If you have a criminal record, be sure to speak to an immigration law expert before submitting your application.

Q. If USCIS grants me deferred action status, can I travel abroad.

A. To travel, you will need USCIS travel permission, called advanced parole. You can apply for advanced parole only after USCIS grants you deferred action status. To qualify, you must prove an urgent need to travel for humanitarian, business or educational reasons. It is too early to tell how strict USCIS will be in enforcing this rule. In any event, if you apply for advanced parole and USCIS denies your application, the only penalty will be loss of the advanced parole filing fee.

 

 

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