Do I Qualify for Immigration Reform 2014?
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced Executive Action Reforms for immigration policy in the United States, expanding legal residency opportunities for millions of undocumented workers and illegal immigrants. Since the reforms were extensive, naturally, there is confusion about exactly who qualifies and what the specific requirements are.
At Peek & Toland, PLLC, we wanted to list out the most frequently asked questions about immigration reform on this website for our readers to review how the current immigration reform executive action could potentially affect them. If you have further questions about what you may be eligible for under current U.S. immigration law, please input your information in the contact form below or call our office at (512) 474-4445. Se habla español.
What is DAPA?
Through the Deferred Action Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, immigrants can legally work and remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation for a three year period.
When can I apply?
Parents will have to wait until May 2015 to apply for DAPA benefits.
Do step-parents qualify for DAPA benefits?
While final eligibility details are still pending, it is likely that step-parents will qualify as long as the U.S. citizen or resident child in question was not yet an adult when the step-parent and biological parent married.
Do I have to bring proof of previous tax returns?
No, applicants do not need to provide proof that they have filed tax returns in the past in order to become eligible for DAPA benefits. However, they will need to file tax returns after they receive DAPA status.
My child is a U.S. citizen, but I came to the U.S. after January 1, 2010. Do I qualify?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. You will have to wait for more comprehensive immigration reform measures to be passed, or until your child becomes 21-years-old and sponsors you for residency.
EXPANDED DACA PROGRAM
Does the expanded DACA program still require children to have entered the U.S. before age 16?
While the current age limit has been eliminated under the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, still, applicants must have entered the U.S. before age 16 in order to qualify.
I qualify for both the DACA and DAPA programs. Which one is preferable?
Take advantage of the new DACA program as its benefits will become available to you much sooner than DAPA, which may not start until May 2015.
I am living outside of the U.S. but wish to apply for one of these programs. Can I?
No, in order to qualify, you must have entered the U.S. on or before January 1, 2010 and remained in the country since then. You will not become eligible for the new benefits if you enter the U.S. now.
I qualify for these benefits but am on the verge of deportation and cannot wait for the programs to become active. Is there anything I can do?
The new immigration reform action makes exceptions for qualifying individuals who have received deportation orders. Go talk to an attorney or contact your local immigration office NOW to get started on protecting your status.
I have some misdemeanors on my record. Am I disqualified from the new benefits?
It depends. If you have a felony, one “significant” misdemeanor, or have three or more misdemeanors which occurred from separate incidents on your record, then you are ineligible for DACA.
Don’t Wait – Call Us Today for Complete Information
If you are concerned about whether you qualify for deferred action under the new immigration reform qualifications, or if you would like to know more about the immigration reform itself, please contact Peek & Toland, PLLC at (512) 474-4445. You may also fill out and submit the form below and we’ll get back to you shortly.Google+