'Paperwork' found at https://flic.kr/p/4oWb4H by kozumel (https://flickr.com/people/kozumel) used under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)
'Paperwork' found at https://flic.kr/p/4oWb4H by kozumel (https://flickr.com/people/kozumel) used under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)
'Paperwork' found at https://flic.kr/p/4oWb4H by kozumel (https://flickr.com/people/kozumel) used under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)
Anyone who thinks that he or she will be eligible to obtain deferral of removal/deportation under DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) should carefully review the requirements, and - if you are not unclear on any part of it - consult with someone who can explain them honestly and accurately.

DAPA applicants will have to satisfy the following requirements:
  1. Applicant must be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  2. Applicant must have lived in the U.S. continuously since January 1, 2010
  3. Applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 [we recommend remaining in the U.S. until filing a DAPA application]
  4. Applicant must not have had prior legal immigration status
  5. Applicant has not been convicted of certain criminal offenses, including any felonies and some misdemeanors, which will be defined more specifically before the application period opens
Deferred Action is all about allowing people who have lived "under the radar" to come out into the open.  The very nature of being in the shadows can make it difficult to obtain documentation of such a person's presence.  That said, it's one thing to know you qualify for DAPA.  It's quite another to be able to PROVE IT.  The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate that he or she satisfies all of these requirements.  The more documentation you can gather, the more quickly your application will be completed and filed.
So, what sorts of documentation should you be collecting and keeping in a safe place?  Below is a list, but it's not exhaustive.  You may have more, or less.  That's okay, but be sure to gather EVERYTHING you can get your hands on.  The more, the better.  If you think something might be helpful, then keep it, and ask a lawyer or an immigration advocate.

  • Applicants' passports and/or other official foreign identity documents
  • Birth certificates of U.S. citizen/LPR children
  • Children's green cards (LPR documentation)
  • Work records, including pay stubs, tax forms, etc., dating back to before January 1, 2010
  • Leases, utility bills, medical records, banking records, children's school records, photographs, etc.
  • Other bills and documentation of presence, such as cable, online streaming accounts, social media, etc.
  • If necessary, affidavits from church, family, friends, etc. to support presence in the United States since before January 1, 2010 and on November 20, 2014
Plan to submit copies of everything with your application, but keep your originals readily available in case immigration officials want to review them.

You should also be saving money for the application fees, which are set to be a bit under $500.00.  If you plan to hire a lawyer, you should consider those fees, as well.

Finally, keep paying close attention to all official announcements about when the government will begin accepting applications.  Right now, that should be around May 20, 2015, but that could change.  You may subscribe for alerts from USCIS by clicking here, or by subscribing to our newsletter from our home page.

Happy New Year.  We look forward to a busy year of helping as many people as possible find some peace of mind after years of uncertainty.