Below are some recent questions and our answers:
Q. How much will be the filing fee and what will the fee include?
A. The filing fee will be $465.00. The filing fee will include work authorization and the biometrics fee which will be to determine that the applicant has not committed a crime. This authorization will last for two years and at the end, it may be extended. There are as yet no indications if permanent residence will be granted.
Q. I came to the U.S. over the border at age 15 from Mexico. I was not arrested when I crossed. I am now over 16. Can I still apply?
A. Yes, you may provided you can prove you were in the U.S. before you were 16. School records would prove you were here, of if you didn’t go to school, working records could prove your entry before 16. If you were neither in school nor working, other secondary proof might help you as sworn testimony from friends or relatives or any other document you might have showing you were here before age 16. Of course, the proof would be harder to obtain other than through school or working.
Q. Suppose I apply to the Immigration Service for the Dream Act and I am unable to prove I arrived here before I was 16. Will I be deported?
A. If you’re not capable of providing proof of your entry here before age 16, you should consult with a lawyer before you file. If your application is denied, the Immigration Service will not seek to deport you unless you have committed a serious crime.
Q. If I obtain the benefits of the Dream Act, will I be able to return to my country to see my family?
A. The Immigration Service has not yet considered this issue. There are two possibilities that may be afforded by the law:
a) Advance Parole – to obtain temporary travel authorization, you must satisfy the Immigration Service that you need to travel abroad to visit a close family member who is seriously ill or because you have an important educational or business purpose that requires you to go abroad; or
b) You may be able to apply for a Refugee Travel Document issued by the government that will allow you to travel abroad for up to two years. If the Dream Act decides to allow this, the document may be issued without the necessity of showing a humanitarian, educational or business purpose.
Q. I’ve been arrested before. What do I need?
A. You need to send Certificates of Disposition and sentencing records to the Immigration Service. If you were granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, you need a copy of the Judge’s adjournment and later the dismissal.
Q. After I’ve applied for the Dream Act, can I travel outside the United States?
A. You will be ineligible if you travel outside the U.S. after April 15, 2012.
Q. I entered the U.S. before I was 16, but I didn’t attend school and I didn’t work. Can I still obtain the benefits of the Dream Act?
A. You would need to show a U.S. Arrival-Departure Record showing a legal entry, or if you entered without a visa, hospital records, religious document such as a Communion record, wedding record, bank account confirmation or rent receipt, utility bill, or gas, electric or phone bill or ultimately affidavits from friends or relatives. You should definitely consult with a lawyer if you do not have school or job letters proving you were here before age 16.
Q. Can I still obtain an approval for the Dream Act if I left the U.S. during the past five years?
A. Yes if the departure was brief, casual and innocent.
Q. Do I need a lawyer to submit this application?
A. The Immigration Service will carefully scrutinize your application and your documents. If they are not properly completed, you may encounter difficulties which could be avoided with the help of a lawyer.
If you need help or advise, call us at 212-944-9420.
Our assistance is only a phone call, or e-mail communication away!