[Time to Read: 3.2 mins]
We are almost a month into 2015 and so far there has been no news on immigration reform. It looks like the regulations and the guidelines on the new remedies under the Executive Action won’t be released until at least mid-February.
Expectations are that the extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), will probably begin sometime in February. The new initiative which will have the most reach, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), will probably not be available until May. DAPA is the program for which potentially several millions of people will be able to qualify.
With no forms and no guidelines currently available in terms of how to actually implement the Executive Action, people should not be hiring or paying anyone to start work on the process. People should not move on this until they can actually see the forms and official information on the USCIS.gov website.
What should we do now?
At this point, I would suggest that people go to the USCIS.gov website. Front and center on the homepage is a link to the Executive Action, where they can sign up to receive newsletter updates directly from the U.S. Government about each of these programs. There is also a version in Spanish.
I recommend that everybody sign up for the newsletter, so they know exactly what is going on. This will help them avoid being scammed by practitioners and non-attorneys that will offer remedies that actually don’t exist. Until the information is officially on the website and available to all, no one should be hiring anybody to do any work.
Start Gathering Documentation
The second thing people can do now is to begin gathering all the qualifying documents that they will need before they consult with an experienced immigration attorney to begin the process. Even though they can’t really move forward just yet, they can be doing something in preparation. Some of these documents, depending on what country they’re from, could take more than a month to obtain, especially if they have to go through the consulates.
If people want to be ready to apply, they should start gathering these documents now. In my next blog, I will outline some of the qualifying documents that will be needed.
If you think you may be eligible just on the face of what the guidelines say so far, start gathering documents, and once the regulations are released, then consult with an immigration expert.