President Barack Obama announced less than a month ago his immigration reform action to temporarily protect some 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Some have called into question the reality of the decision as some members of the House threaten to derail the action. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently offered hope to those interested in obtaining safeguard against deportation, suggesting that immigrants may begin applying as early as February 2015.
According to NBC News, Leon Rodriguez, director of USCIS, held a conference call with Spanish-speaking reporters. He stated that immigrants will likely be able to begin the application process for work permits and deportation relief within the next few months. Those applying for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals should be able to submit their paperwork in the middle of February, while parents of people with U.S. citizenship should be able to apply in May.
During the conference call, Rodriguez also noted that no start date has been officially determined yet. Right now, the Obama Administration is still compiling a list of the documentation that will be required and acceptable to prove eligibility. He also warned that immigrants should be wary of purchasing services from those offering legal advice and help applying, as paperwork is not yet being accepted and these may not be authorized legal advisors – con artists preying on undocumented immigrants.
When the time comes, the application rules and procedures will be published on the USCIS website, and at that time undocumented immigrants can apply online and pay securely using a credit card. For more updates on immigration reform and Obama’s executive action, sign up for the Immigration Direct newsletter.