Although it appears that the President’s announcement relating to immigration in November seems to be hitting some snags, it is not really a surprise and was expected given the nature of using Executive Action rather than Congressional approval. Those immigrants being affected should not give up hope and should keep in mind that there will be many more discussions and developments in the coming months, but it is unlikely that this process will be cancelled. That being said, I recommend that families who may be eligible for this program continue to prepare for their filing.
You can start collecting and obtaining important records that are needed for almost all immigration processes at any time. First, you should collect documents that show your presence in the US for the last 5 years (more years if you can do so) such as medical records, work records, pay stubs, bills and school records. You should obtain all records of any criminal matter you have ever been involved in while in the US. Finally, you should get copies of birth certificates for you and your children and have them translated if the document is not already written in English. With any immigration process, good organization is the key.
What if I am a housewife and have never worked, can I still prove residency? Yes. Proving residency can be challenging at times, but a lot of information can be used other than official documents. Work documents are the easiest way to prove residency, but there are many other ways besides a pay stub to prove that you have lived in a specific city, state or the US. If you have had regular attendance at a particular community organization, you can use evidence of your membership or attendance. For example, if you are a regular attending member of a church, you can have the pastor write a letter on your behalf. If you have helped with a youth group or student program at your child’s school, you can get a letter from them as well. Other things such as library or gym memberships can also be used to show residency. Additionally, financial records (bank accounts and utility bills) or medical records are excellent sources of evidence.
There are many people whose family situation might be a little different than standard applicants. Can these people also qualify for the program? For example, what if you and the mother of the US citizen children are not married, can you still qualify? The answer is yes. The requirement is to be the parent of a US citizen or legal resident. There is no requirement that you be married to the other parent. When applying, you only need to provide proof of your relationship to your child by providing a birth certificate or affidavit of parentage.
What if I am not the birth parent of the child, but I am married to the birth parent parent (step-dad or step-mom)? In most cases, if you have been married and have been acting as the parent of a child since they were minors (under the age of 18), you will be deemed their parent for immigration purposes. There are some cases where this would probably not work. For example, if you only recently married the biological parent in order to qualify for the reforms or you married the parent and the child is no longer a minor.
What if my child has not yet been born, can I still qualify for this program? For this questions, the answer is, no. If your child was not born before the announcement of this program on November 20, 2014, you are not eligible.