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What Texas Immigrants Need to Know About DAPA

Family sitting in front of houseThis is the next post in our series discussing what undocumented Texas immigrants need to know about current changes in immigration. Our last post discussed how DACA will provide deferred action for adult immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. In this article we will discuss what DAPA is and who it will apply to.

DAPA is an immigration program which provides deferred action for parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents

DAPA stands for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. It is part of an executive order issued by the Obama Administration that was announced on November 20th, 2014. Currently USCIS is not accepting applications for DAPA due to a judicial injunction. It is unclear at this time when applications will be accepted.

The purpose of the DAPA is ultimately to keep families together. Texas residents who will be eligible for DAPA relief must be a parent to a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Those who qualify must have lived in the US continuously since January 2010 and must have been in the country on November 20th, 2014. When applying for DAPA relief the applicant must be able to provide proof of their relationship to the child. Documents that will be required include the child’s  birth certificate and identity documents. Applicants will also have to show proof of continuous residency. This may be shown through a number of documents including rental agreements, phone bills, traffic tickets, tax returns, etc. It will be important to produce as many detailed documents as possible so that there is no doubt about one’s permanent residency.

Parents of Texas citizens should begin preparing documents and saving for the DAPA’s required fee

May 20th, 2014 was the initial projected date that the USCIS had approximated for beginning the acceptance of DAPA applications. Now, until the injunction is lifted, no set date can be given. In the meantime, parents of citizens and lawful permanent residents can begin to prepare so that they may be early in the proverbial line when applications are accepted. Extensive documentation will be required. Collecting and maintaining this paper trail now will be beneficial. Make copies or scan all relevant documents such as phone bills, tax returns, grocery receipts, etc. It will be important to show a continuous presence in the United States so maintaining records of all purchases made is helpful. There will also be a total fee of $465 to apply. As it is not clear if this fee will be waived in certain situations, parents who wish to apply for DAPA should begin to save now, so that when the time is ready, they will not have to delay their application due to financial reasons.

If you had planned to apply for DAPA and are now confused by the injunction then do not wait. Consult with an Austin immigration attorney to answer any questions you may have, and to find out if an alternative type of relief is available to you. Contact our lawyers today.

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