On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced the new Deferred Action for Parents (DAP) program.  DAP allows foreign national parents of U.S. citizen and legal permanent resident children to obtain deferred action for a period of three (3) years. 

DAP is not technically “lawful status” in the United States, nor is it permanent residency.  There are, however, very important benefits to the program:

Benefits of DAP:

  • Permission to stay in the US for a three-year period;
  • Employment authorization;
    • Through the employment authorization, an individual may generally apply for a social security number and driver’s license in most states.
  • Protection from removal proceedings; and,
  • Ceasing the accrual of unlawful presence while in deferred action.

Requirements for DAP Applicants

  • Parental Requirements:
    • To apply, you must be the parent of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR) son or daughter as of November 20, 2014;
  • Residency Requirements:
    • You must have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010;
      • Note: Brief, casual, and innocent departures from US are allowed.
    • You must have been physically present in the U.S. and without lawful status on November 20, 2014;
  • Public Safety Requirements:
    • Except in limited circumstances, you will not be eligible for DAP if you have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors; or if you have engaged in any other criminal activity that may render you a removal priority.
    • Note: if you have had any contact with law enforcement at any point in your life, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney before applying for DAP.

Additional Considerations for DAP

  • Individuals who are not detained and are in removal proceedings or have a final order of removal or voluntary departure may still apply for DAP. 
  • Individuals may simultaneously file DAP applications alongside other applications, such as U nonimmigrant visa or permanent residency based on marriage or relationship with a family member.

The DAP application will not be available until spring of 2015; however, those who are eligible should begin gathering documents to prove they meet the DAP requirements.  Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of Wilson Law Group’s experienced immigration attorneys to determine whether you are eligible and learn more about the program.

You may schedule a free consultation online by selecting one of our immigration attorneys or by calling 612-436-7100.