On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a new immigration policy in which certain immigrants would be allowed Deferred Action which would allow them to stay in the United States and not face deportation.
Now known as the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicated it would provide guidance on August 1, 2012 as individuals could not file for this relief until DHS and/or USCIS came up with guidelines for filing.
It was clarified by DHS that DACA is not the DREAM Act. It does not confer lawful immigration status or alter an individual’s existing immigration status. The use of DACA does not provide a way to citizenship or permanent residency.
DHS stated that it believes it will begin to accept DACA applications on August 15, 2012.
While the set of guidelines have not come out, it is expected that proof of continuous stay in the United States will be needed. It is likely that you should gather documents that evidence this which may include financial records, military records, school records and employment records.
It is difficult to know how long the processing of the DACA applications may take although an estimate has it between 6-12 months.
We will have more on this as information is disseminated about the application procedure. If you are in need of an Immigration Lawyer please call or email.