DREAM Act: Applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Every young immigrant or alien in the United States has by now heard something about President Obama's announcement in June 2012 that some are now eligible under the DREAM Act guidelines for Deferred Action.  Forms for this program, like the Instructions, 821D form, were provided by USCIS on August 15, 2012.

Please keep in mind; due to the political battle over this executive order, eligibility for this program may not last past the November 2012 election.  If you may be eligible for this program, consider acting quickly.  In August, a high-level Republican filed a suit to terminate or limit this program, potentially delaying any deferred action until after the election.

Dream Act Guidelines

Younger immigrants to this country are eligible under this new executive order if you meet the following:

  • Arrived in the United States when they were under the age of 16; this applies regardless of whether the arrival was authorized and conducted with a border inspection, or unauthorized and without any inspection;
  •  Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012, and were present in the United States on June 15, 2012 (the date of the memorandum);
  •  Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
  •  Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
  •  Are not above the age of 30 by June 15, 2012.  This was later clarified to mean that you must be under age 31, by this date, to be eligible.  You can request DACA at any age, but must be at least age 15 if you wish to request DACA on your own.

The information above must be verifiable and documented, so each applicant must be able to prove these criteria with the following list of documents:

Documentation for DREAM Act criteria

  • Documentation of presence in this country for the correct time period (at least five years prior to June 15, 2012) and nearly continuous residence may include, but is not limited to, financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, hospital or immunization records, and military records.
  • Documents used to prove these issues may include immigration court records, applications for immigration benefits, correspondence with immigration agencies, I-94 cards, driver’s licenses, birth certificates of children born in the United States, marriage certificates, hospital records, insurance claim forms, school records, utility bills, tax returns, rental receipts, other dated receipts, bank statements, church membership enrollment records or certificates of baptism, marriage, or other religious ceremony,  CSAP scoring and records, certificates of attendance in school, personal checks bearing a dated bank cancellation stamp, employment records, and credit card statements, among other documents.  You will also need two recent, identical passport photographs, which can be purchased at Walgreen's or UPS Stores.  You can find a more complete list of these documents, directly from the USCIS website, at this link, Documents and Evidence Supporting Deferred Action Applications.
  • Each document in a foreign language must be translated before submission, with the interpreter certifying to the accuracy of the translation.  Interpreters are available to translate these documents through the law firm.
  • It may also be possible, if such records are not available, to  submit affidavits attesting to an individual’s presence, or may provide letters from employers and attestations from churches, unions and other organizations to show continuous residence.
  • You must provide two passport-sized photographs, available from many office supply stores, or locations like FedExpress offices.
  • The fees for this application include two payments to USCIS, for the work authorization documents; $380 to USCIS in one money order, and a second money order of $85 again to USCIS.  This firm will charge a minimal fee to generate each application, in addition to these fees.

After reading through this post, please consider discussing your status with an immigration attorney; this firm can be contacted at the address and number above, and immigration issues are complicated - please call (303) 571-5023 to schedule an appointment to at least discuss the issues.