DEFERRED ACTION FOR PARENTS OF AMERICANS AND LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS (DAPA)
What is DAPA?: Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, otherwise known as DAPA, is an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, that was recently initiated by executive fiat. Essentially, it is a program that will prevent certain individuals, who do not presently have legal status in the United States, to avert the possibility of deportation. In addition to this protection, the applicant can also apply for Employment Authorization. However, it does not give the individual a particular “legal status”.
If approved, the Deferred action can be granted for 3 years and can be renewed. Not all applicants under this program will qualify. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will review each application and make a determination on a case-by-case basis.
Eligibility Requirements: In order to qualify under the DAPA program, the individual must possess the following minimum requirements:
- He/She must be the parent of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident;
- He/She must have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010;
- He/She must have been present in the United States on November 20, 2014, the date the announcement of this program was made. Additionally, you may have to show that you were present from the November 20th date, up to the date that you made your DAPA application.
- He/She must not have been in any lawful immigration status on the November 20th You must show:
- You either entered the United States without authorized documents (such as a Visa); OR
- That if you did enter lawfully, that your Visa and/or status expired before November 20, 2014; AND
- You must not be in a lawful immigration status when you apply for the DAPA program.
- He/She must show that they have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses. This includes any felonies and some types of misdemeanors (see attorney at Duvall Law Office, for what misdemeanor offenses are prohibited).
The Application Period: The application period for the DAPA program will not begin until May, 2015. There will be three (3) Immigration Forms for the Applicant to complete. First, will be the Application for Deferred Action; Second will be an Application for Work Authorization; and Third, will be a Work Sheet that goes along with the Application for Work Authorization. Your attorney at Duvall Law Office will give you the appropriate forms to complete.
The DHS fee for the application is $465.00. This consists of the $380.00 fee for the Application for Work Authorization, plus $85.00 to have your biometrics (digital photograph and fingerprints) taken.
Documentation for Eligibility: There will be several documents (“Supporting Documents”)that you should now be in the process of gathering in order to prove you are eligible and qualified for the DAPA program. Some of these documents include:
- Proof of your identity (photographic proof such as on a passport or other form of ID will be required);
- Proof that you are a parent of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident child;
- Proof that you have been continuously residing in the United States since January 1, 2010. Such documents may include;
- Residential Lease Agreements or Home Ownership Documents;
- Bank Statements;
- Telephone or other Utility Bills
- Medical and/or School Records (including school transcripts)
- Tax Records (if you filed taxes). This could include property taxes if you own property;
*The more documentation, the better. You should gather as many of these documents as possible, over the covered period, to establish residence.
- Proof that you were physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014;
- If you have ever been arrested, you will need to obtain from the Court that has/had jurisdiction over your case, a certified copy of the “Court’s Disposition” of the case. This will show what the Court determined the outcome of your case to be.
Your attorney at Duvall Law Office will go over additional document that you may gather and provide more detail about the documents that you should gather.
Additional Benefits to DAPA: In addition to obtaining Work Authorization, the individual will also be allowed to apply for and receive a Social Security Card. Once your Work Authorization is approved and you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you will need to contact your nearest Social Security Office to inquire as to where you will need to make your application for a Social Security Card. Remember, once you have obtained Work Authorization and a Social Security Card, you are required to file all of your required taxes (State, Federal, etc.). You must do this as it may have an effect on your ability to renew the DAPA when the time comes.
Presently, Arizona is not issuing driver’s licenses to recipients under the DACA program. However, recent Court decisions have indicated that the State will soon have to do so. It is anticipated that if the State is required to issue licenses to the DACA recipients, then it will also have to do so to beneficiary’s of the DAPA program (once Work Authorization is issued).
You May Be Eligible Even If You Are Currently in Deportation Proceedings: If you are currently in Deportation Proceedings and are not in custody or detained, you can still file for DAPA if you qualify. You can also apply if you have a final order of deportation or have an order of Voluntary Departure.
If you are currently in custody or detained, you will need to notify the appropriate personnel at the place where you are being detained, that you believe that you meet all of the qualifications for the program. There are certain agencies within the DHS that you can contact.