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Immigration Alert: USCIS will be accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on August 15, 2012. Take the Free Eligibility Quiz Here!

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), an US legislative proposal was earlier introduced in the Senate way back on August 1, 2001. The bill was re-introduced in the US Senate on May 11, 2011.

This enactment is aimed at providing conditional permanent residency to illegal alien students who graduate from US high schools, who have good moral character, came to the US legally or illegally as minors and who have been residing in the US continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment. This will give illegal students an opportunity to contribute back to the country. There is also an opportunity to utilize their hard earned education and talents. Per the proposal, if students contribute two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, they will be given temporary residency for six years.

Within this six year period, the student should have earned a degree from an institution in the US or finished at least two years in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the US OR served in the armed services for at least two years. If discharged, it should be an honorable discharge. Any foreign national alien, whose permanent resident status is terminated will get back to the immigration status he/she had immediately before receiving conditional permanent resident status.

Per the 2009 version of the senate bill, persons should:

  • have sufficient proof of having entered the US before age 16.
  • have residence proof in the US for at least five years since they arrived in the US.
  • If male, registered with the Selective Service
  • be between 12 and 30 years of age at the time of the DREAM Act enactment.
  • have graduated from an US high school, got a GED, or admitted to an institution of higher education.
  • be of “good moral character”.

If the DREAM Act is passed, a person meeting the requirements stated above, has to:

  • apply for the DREAM Act (since the legislation has not yet passed, there are no specific guidelines on how to apply)
  • enroll in an institution of higher education to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree OR enlist in one of the branches of the US Military (after granted Conditional Permanent Residency)
  • have completed at least two years of one of the options mentioned in the previous step within six years of approval for conditional permanent residency
  • apply for Legal Permanent Residency and subsequently, after a few years qualify for American Citizenship after five and a half years of the six years is completed.

Persons who have already completed at least two years of college education for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree, have to wait for five and half years to apply for Legal Permanent Residency even though he/she may have already earned a degree.

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