Northwest Immigration & Criminal Defense LLP helps individuals who may be eligible for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). This program, announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014, could allow some parents of US citizen or lawful permanent resident children to apply for what is called "deferred action." Essentially, when someone is granted deferred action, the government is telling that individual he or she will not be deported for a period of time. For DAPA, this period of time is three years. During these three years, the individual can receive work authorization to work legally in thee United States.
What are the requirements for DAPA?
Since USCIS has not announced the official requirements or begun accepting applications, we do not know the exact details. However, based on President Obama's November 20, 2014 announcement and our experience from DACA, we have a general idea. An individual will most likely qualify for DAPA if he/she meets the following requirements:
- The individual has lived in the US continuously since January 1, 2010; and
- on November 20, 2014, the individual had a US citizen or lawful permanent resident child; and
- the individual is not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, under the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.
This information is from the USCIS website.
To help you decide whether you qualify for DAPA, it is important to meet with a qualified immigration attorney. However, until USCIS announces the official details for the program in late May or early June, no attorney can give you complete, accurate advice. Anyone who tells you he or she knows the official requirements for DAPA is either mistaken or being dishonest.
When can I apply?
USCIS has not announced the exact date on which it will begin accepting applications. Originally the program was scheduled for 180 days after President Obama's November 20, 2014 announcement. However, a Texas federal district court judge issued an injunction on the program and it is currently awaiting decision in at the Court of Appeals. For more news on DAPA and other immigration issues, check out our blog.
What can I do now?
Start getting everything ready! When people call our office asking what they can do to prepare for DAPA, we tell them to begin preparing documentation. One of the requirements will almost certainly be showing that you have lived in the US since January 1, 2014. Examples of documents that can help you prove presence in the US are:
- bank records,
- tax records,
- credit/debit card transaction history,
- utility bills,
- facebook posts,
- cellphone records (from a cellphone company showing the place from where a call was made),
- medical records,
- school records,
- dated photographs,
- affidavits (signed letters) from community members,
- anything else with a date and a connection to the U.S.
Is there a waiting list for DAPA?
No! There is no waiting list for DAPA or for DACA. Anyone who tells you there is a waiting list or a fee you must pay to "save your place in line" is lying to you.
What isn't DAPA?
DAPA is not a pathway to citizenship. It is not permanent residency. DAPA is only a temporary promise from the government not to deport/remove someone from the United States for a set period of time. It is important for an individual considering DAPA to speak with an experienced immigration attorney.
Why do I need an attorney?
Through the DAPA application, that individual will have to disclose personal details to the government. Since it is impossible to know who our next president will be or how the politics around immigration will change in the coming years, it is very important not to give the government more information than is necessary. When the program opens, immigration lawyers at Northwest Immigration & Criminal Defense LLP will help you build the best possible case for you, providing enough information but not more than is necessary.
Another great reason to consult an immigration lawyer before applying for DAPA or DACA is that many people unknowingly qualify for a better, more permanent immigration benefit. US immigration law is extremely complex and, depending on your family, where they live, how you entered the country, and what you have done since arriving, you may be eligible for permanent residency or even US citizenship.
How can I learn more?
Call Northwest Immigration & Criminal Defense at 503-674-7434 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to talk with you about DAPA, DACA, and the other options that may be available to you.
Where are we located?
Our office is conveniently located here for residents of Portland and Gresham. We also periodically travel to Woodburn, Hood River, Beaverton, and Hillsboro for community outreach. If you are unable to make it to our office, please contact us to set up a time when we can come to you.
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