Executive Actions: DACA And DAPA
Staying on top of immigration reform is an important part of what we do at Immigration Law Office in Chicago. Attorney Drew Elesh and paralegal Alberta Cruz know that they can only be your biggest advocates when they are up to date on every aspect of immigration law, including important executive actions.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) are two major executive actions that may affect people in Chicago and throughout Illinois. At our firm, we will help you understand whether you qualify and help you gather the supporting documents you need to apply.
What Is DACA And Who Qualifies?
DACA is an executive action that allows some individuals who were brought illegally to the United States as children to continue living here lawfully. Although it does not necessarily make it easier to obtain a green card or become a citizen, it does allow these people to avoid deportation and possibly receive authorization to work.
Who Is Eligible?
DACA is reserved for those who do not have lawful status in the U.S. In order to qualify, you must meet several criteria, including:
- Came to the U.S. before you turned 16
- Lived in the U.S. every day since Jan. 1, 2010
- Have graduated from high school, earned a GED or be in school currently
- Have not been convicted of certain crimes
What You Need To Apply
To apply for DACA, you must show proof that you have been in the U.S. during the designated time period. If you do not have documents to prove this, you may submit affidavits from people who know you were here. You must also collect important documents, including school records, financial records, employment records and medical records.
Although you cannot apply for DAPA right now, it is possible that you will be able to in the near future. To ensure you are prepared, it is important to know whether you qualify for DAPA and how to apply.
DAPA was established to allow immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to continue living in the country without fear of deportation. If approved for DAPA, you or your parent will be granted the right to work and live in the U.S. for three years. Your status can be renewed.
Do You Qualify?
To qualify for DAPA, you must meet the following qualifications:
- Be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Been living in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2010
- Must not be convicted of certain crimes
- Must not have had lawful status on Nov. 20, 2014
- Been living in the U.S. on Nov. 20, 2014
Get Ready To Apply
To apply for DAPA, you will need a photo ID, proof that your child is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and documents proving the other criteria in the list above. Even though you cannot apply now, you can start collecting the documents you need so you are ready to apply when it is possible.
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