November 6th, 2012 by Eleanor Gaskin
The DREAM Act is a law that would provide undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children with a path to citizenship. Certain requirements would have to be met. These would include the following:
- They must have entered the U.S before the age of 16.
- They must have lived in the U.S. for five years.
- They must be in school or have graduated high school.
- They must not have been convicted of any serious crimes.
In August 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals went into effect. President Obama put it in place through an executive order. Since most of the requirements for eligibility are similar to the ones proposed for the DREAM Act, many people still believe that Deferred Action is the same as the DREAM Act. But it is not.
As of today, the DREAM Act is still waiting for support from Congress.
What are the Differences Between the DREAM Act and Deferred Action?
The main difference between the DREAM Act and Deferred Action is that Deferred Action does not grant lawful status and the DREAM Act would. Deferred Action is only a temporary relief from deportation. It lasts for a period of 2-years, which can be renewed. Recipients of Deferred Action are allowed to get an employment authorization during those two years and can apply for driver’s licenses. The DREAM Act, on the other hand, would provide DREAMers with green cards, which would, after a period of time, lead them toward U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
Why You Should Apply for Deferred Action
Even though Deferred Action does not grant lawful status, it does allow you to be in the country legally. You will be able to live without fear of deportation and will maintain a way of living similar to most American citizens: You will be authorized to work, drive and, consequently, buy car insurance.
There are three applications that you must submit all at once when applying for Deferred Action:
- Form I-821D
- Form I-765
- Form I-765WS
Form I-821D is the primary application. Form I-765 is the employment authorization. Form I-765WS is the employment authorization worksheet.
Where to Apply
You can apply for Deferred Action here. The application process can be overwhelming and getting step-by-step instructions will simplify things for you. It is important to know if you are eligible. Check your eligibility with this free eligibility quiz.
If you still have questions about Deferred Action, download your free Deferred Action E-Book. In it, you will find straight-forward answers that will improve your understanding of the program.