USCIS just concluded a conference call providing more information on the DREAM deferred action status available to persons USCIS is calling “childhood arrivals.” In this call USCIS expanded on the five criteria for eligibility (see prior blog posts outlining these criteria), but stated that complete details including the specific application forms that will be required are still being worked on and will be available by August 15, 2012. USCIS will not accept deferred action applications prior to August 15, 2012.The USCIS fee for deferred action applications will be $465.00, which will include a 2-year grant of employment authorization, if approved. You get one opportunity to apply; if your application is denied, there is no appeal–make sure it is right! There will be no process for expedited applications or special processing. Applications must be mailed to the appropriate USCIS address (which is not yet published).Other highlights of the call: If your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances. The applicant must be at least 15 years old UNLESS the applicant has already been ordered removed, been granted voluntary departure, or is currently in removal proceedings. The applicant must have been less than 31 years old as of June 15, 2012. Any travel outside of the U.S. before August 15, 2012, must have been “brief, casual & innocent”. No travel outside of the U.S. is allowed after 8/15/2012 unless specific permission is received from USCIS in the form of Advance Parole. Advance Parole will only be issued to persons granted deferred action and who can demonstrate a humanitarian, educational, or employment need to depart the U.S. In regard to criminal history: Fingerprints will be collected by USCIS for background checks. A single DUI is a significant misdemeanor that will disqualify an applicant. A minor traffic offense will not be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of this process. Expunged convictions and juvenile convictions will not automatically disqualify an applicant but will be considered to determine if an individual is a threat to the U.S. Non-significant misdemeanors are those which are not an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; and for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less.
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