On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his administration’s plan to allow certain undocumented Americans to come forward and apply for work authorization and protection from deportation. Although the program has not officially started and the application forms are not yet available as of December 10th 2014, you can begin preparing now!
- Save at least $465.
- Get proof of who you are.
- Gather proof of your relationship to U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) family members.
- Gather proof of how long you have been in the U.S.
- Gather any criminal records that you have.
- If you have a criminal conviction, check with an attorney to see if you can expunge, vacate, or modify this conviction.
- If you have a prior deportation or removal order, check with an attorney or BIA-accredited representative.
- Stay informed. Sign up to receive updates from NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC!
- Know your rights!
- Beware of unauthorized practice of law and fraud!
Immigration applications are expensive. It costs $465 to apply for deferred action under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The new program could cost even more. So start saving now or talk to your local credit union to see if you can get a low-interest loan.
You will have to prove who you are. Here are a few forms of identification that could be helpful:
• a passport from your home country
• national ID
• a birth certificate with photo ID
The program could require that you have a spouse or child who is a U.S. citizen or LPR (someone who has a “green card”). To prove that you have a relative with this status, gather:
• birth certificates
• your spouse or child’s U.S. passport or naturalization certificate
• marriage certificates
• your spouse or child’s green card
You will likely have to show how long you have been residing in the U.S. These are some documents that can help you show this:
• school records
• your children’s school records
• medical or hospital records
• bills (electricity, phone, gas, etc.)
• rent payment receipts
• passport with admission stamp
• copies of money order receipts
• bank transactions
• church records
We do not know yet who will and who will not qualify for the new program. People with certain types of criminal convictions may not qualify. It is best to get a copy of your criminal records so that you can show them to an attorney and get advice on whether you should apply.
Criminal records include:
• arrest records
• court dispositions
• FBI criminal background checks (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks)
• any expungement records
• proof of rehabilitation (completion of DUI and other classes)
It may be possible to change or “erase” your conviction. There are different ways to do this. Even if you are still ineligible for the new program, having a prior conviction removed from your record may be beneficial to you in other ways.
It may be risky for people who have prior deportation or removal orders to apply for the new program. Talk to an attorney or BIA- accredited representative to determine whether you should apply and whether you can reopen your old immigration case. (BIA- accredited representatives can be found at nonprofit organizations that help people with immigration matters.)
As we receive more news about the President’s executive action, we will share them with our community. We will also share educational materials and information about webinars. Please sign up to receive these updates by email at www.nakasec.org, www.krcla.org, www.chicagokrcc.org
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or local law enforcement can stop you at any time, especially if you have not yet received work authorization. Not everyone will qualify for the new program so you should know what to say and what not to say when stopped by ICE or law enforcement. Learn more about your rights at home and at work. Be prepared for an ICE raid by carrying a know-your-rights card.
The program has not started yet and no application is available yet. Do not believe anyone who tells you that they can sign you up for the program now.
￼￼￼[Credit to the National Immigration Law Center, Translated into Korean by NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC]