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August 7, 2012, 12:23 pm
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The Dream Act is technically called `prosecutorial discretion.`
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Last Friday, Department of Home land Security senior staff members outlined the process for Obama’s “dream act.”  The program is technically called “prosecutorial discretion.”  If approved, the applicant will receive deferred action, which for a limited period of time grants work authorization, and protection from deportation. If you entered the U.S. before age 16 and are between 15 and 30 years old, ,and have continuously resided in the U.S. for 5 years before June 15, 2012, then you may qualify if you do not have certain criminal convictions and are either in school now, or have your high school diploma or GED certificate.

As of this writing there is no way to apply  today, unless you are in immigration custody or deportation (removal) proceedings.  However, The immigration service (USCIS) and immigration enforcement (ICE) are required to prepare a specific application and a process for by August 15, 2012.

In the meantime, you can, get the evidence that will likely be required for the application ready.  In this way you will be ready when the final details are announced.

The following should be gathered and copies made.

  • Birth Record

A birth certificate is likely to be required to establish the applicant’s legal name, date of birth and place of birth, as well as nationality. If you cannot locate a birth certificate and cannot find a copy in your country’s register, you may be able to submit secondary evidence along with a letter of no record from the registrar in your country. Information regarding birth certificates for many countries can be found at the State Department under reciprocity tables:

  • Passport: Historically  USCIS requires birth certificates. As well as passport

Residence and Physical Presence

You will have to prove U.S. residence or physical presence at certain specific dates: These dates are 1) the date you entered the U.S.; 2) the period between June 15, 2007 and June 15, 2012 (5 years of residence); and 3) proof that you were  physical present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012. You can establish this through documentation such as school records, medical records, financial records, employment records and military records are specifically mentioned.

Continuous Residence in the U.S. between June 15, 2007 and June 15, 2012

To prove that you have continuously resided in the U.S. between June 15, 2007 and June 15, 2012, (5 years period required by the deferred action program, you may submit some of the following documents:

•        School records (from the school or the school district which maintains records);
•        Employment records (from past employers);
•        Hospital or medical records (from the hospital or the medical provider);
•        Rent or utility bills (from the landlord or the utility company);
•        Immunization records;
•        Passport entries;
•        Birth certificates of applicant’s children born in the United States.
•        Medical, school and other records of applicant’s children born in the United States;
•        Bank account statements; Insurance bills or records;
•        Social Security records;
•        Driver’s license or ID records from state and local governments;
•        Automobile license receipts, title, or vehicle registration;
•        Deeds, mortgages and any contracts in which you have been a party     (including cell phone contracts and bills)
•        Tax receipts and filings (obtain from IRS or state/local taxing authority)
•        Affidavits by churches, unions or other organizations (obtain letters,     notarized if possible, attesting to the applicant’s residence.  Make sure it     includes specific dates that the author of the letter can attest to from     personal experience or from church or union records);

If you have had any absence from the U.S. since June 15, 2007, you will have to prove that it was “brief, casual, and innocent,” which is a temporary trip abroad due to emergency or other circumstances outside your control. You can establish this with the the following:

•        Passport entries;
•        Plane or other transportation tickets showing travel dates;
•        Evidence of the purpose of the travel abroad (e.g. attended a funeral or wedding);
•        Copy of any advance parole travel document you received form USCIS;
•        Affidavits of persons who know you and the reason why you traveled out of the U.S., and for what period of time;
•        Any other evidence that could support that the travel wasbrief, casual, and innocent.

Entry into the United States Before Age 16

To prove that you entered the United States before age 16, you can submit the following:

If you entered the U.S. with inspection, submitting copies of:

•        The visa and identification pages from the passport;
•        The most recent Form I-94 received when you entered.
•        Any documents you have  showing an extension or change of status;
•        If you were a student copies of all Forms I-20 showing status as an F-1 student or F-2 student spouse (front and back); and
•        For J visa holders copies of all Forms IAP-66 or DS-2019 showing status as a J-1 exchange visitor (all pages)
•        If you don not have this documentation; perhaps it was lost or stolen you could have affidavits prepared for person that can testify that you entered before the age of 16;

If crossed the border and entered the U.S. without inspection, you may provide:
•    School records such as transcript showing that you attended school on the dates around your birthday;
•    notarized written affidavits from individuals who knew of your entry into the United States

Establishing that you were Physical Presence on June 15, 2012

•    You can provide documentation of a specific event on that date, such as a hospital visit, dental visit and the like;
•    Work records;
•    School transcripts
•    Paychecks

Education Documentation

Everyone will have to prove that they are in school now, or have graduated from U.S. high school or have a general education development (GED) certificate.

•    A high school diploma.
•    Transcripts
•    GED certificate.
•    If still in school, transcripts and report cards will be good evidence.

If you do not have a high school diploma or a GED, then register immediately for a GED program.

Criminal History

You must show that you have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor.

If you have had any criminal convictions you should obtain legal counsel before filing ay application A denial under the criminal grounds may result in being placed in deportation proceedings.

Who Can Help you ?

Do not use the services of a “notario” who is not permitted to practice immigration law. To find out more about notarios and the problems that are associated with these entities go to

If you need to have the forms prepared for you to submit you can use the services of

Author: Moises Apsan
Attorney with over 35 years of experience. Past president Federal Bar Association NJ Chapter (1997-2002). Offices in New York, NY, Newark, NJ. Tel: 888-460-1800 and
Apsan Law Offices
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