What is DAPA?
The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) is a program that is not yet in effect. It may IN THE FUTURE provide temporary relief from deportation ("deferred action") and work authorization to qualifying parents of U.S. citizens and qualifying parents of Lawful Permanent Residents.
Please be aware that DAPA applications are NOT being accepted yet. Please beware of anyone who tells you that you can file now. The forms have not been released, and regulations have not been published. No one may file for this benefit at this time.
However, a responsible and experienced immigration attorney can assist you in gathering and organizing most of the documents that would be required for this or another type of immigrant benefit or defense. An immigration attorney can also help you request medical and school documents and any immigration history and criminal background record that you may have.
UPDATED - October, 2015
The Provisional Waiver
USCIS published a final rule on "Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for Certain Immediate Relatives" (also called “Stateside Waivers”), on January 3, 2013.
This relatively new process is for relatives of certain U.S. citizens who are in the U.S. illegally and need that unlawful presence “waived" before they can apply for a “green card”. It is intended to reduce the amount of time U.S. citizen are separated from their immediate relatives (“qualifying relatives”). It may also encourage more people to apply for U.S. permanent residence ( “green card”).
Who can apply for the Provisional Waiver?
To qualify for this new waiver, the applicant must be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (the spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen). Under President Obama's Executive Action, the spouse, parent or child or a U.S. Permanent Resident will qualify . This change is anticipated to take effect in May, 2015.
What is the Provisional Waiver Based On?
A waiver under the new process must be based on EXTREME HARDSHIP to a “qualifying relative” - a U.S. citizen spouse or U.S. citizen parent. A permanent resident may not be a qualifying relative for this new waiver at this time.
A U.S. citizen child is NOT a “qualifying relative” for the new waiver process, except to the extent that if affects the qualifying U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to become lawful permanent residents in the United States and who have more than 6 months of unlawful presence in the U.S., must still leave the U.S. for the consular immigrant visa process after their waiver is approved. The big difference under the new process is they can apply for a provisional waiver, and get a decision on the waiver while still in the U.S. and BEFORE leaving for an immigrant visa interview abroad.
Eligibility for the Provisional Waiver
To be eligible for the New Provisional Waiver, the applicant must meet all the following criteria:
● Be 17 years or older
● Be the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen
● Have an approved I-130 Immigrant Petition or approved I-360
● Have an immigrant visa case pending with U.S. Department of State
● Paid the U.S. Department of State immigrant visa processing fee
● Be in the U.S. at time of waiver filing and biometrics appointment
● Not be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview before 1/3/2013.
● Must be inadmissible ONLY on account of unlawful presence
● Prove that the denial of the waiver would result in "EXTREME HARDSHIP" to a U.S. “qualifying relative” ( a U.S. citizen spouse or U.S. citizen parent)
If a provisional unlawful presence waiver application is approved by USCIS, it does not guarantee an immigrant visa. A U.S. Department of State consular officer will determine eligibility for an immigrant visa.
If you have approved an I-130 Petition, you will receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC). The letter is intended to advise you that qualifying applicants will be able to file for the new Provisional Waiver for unlawful presence inadmissibility. This does NOT mean that you are eligible to apply for that waiver. Each case needs to be evaluated on an individual basis.
Please contact our office at (404) 418-8989 to make an appointment to discuss whether you or your family member qualifies for a specific benefit, and which documents that would best support that application or petition.
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