NEW YORK – Since President Barack Obama issued his recent executive orders on immigration, Philippine consulates all over the United States have been reaching out to kababayans who may be eligible for this much awaited relief through workshops.
Three components of Obama’s executive action applies widely to undocumented Filipinos, Consul Khrys Corpuz said at a workshop held Sunday.
They are the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA version 2.0, the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or DAPA and the expansion of provisional waiver for three or ten year bar.
“They do not confer lawful status upon an undocumented immigrant, so you do not have status,” said Corpuz. “They do not constitute an amnesty, and they do not constitute the much awaited immigration reform law. They do not offer a path to U.S. citizenship.”
DACA is a temporary immigration benefit for people who arrived in the U.S. before his or her 16th birthday and before January 1, 2010, regardless of their age today.
Modeled after the DACA program, DAPA provides deportation relief and work permits to the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents – that have continuously resided in the U.S. since before January 1, 2010.
Their children must have been born on or before November 20, 2014 and must be physically present and out of status on November 20, 2014, as well.
The third category of relief is the provisional waiver which now allows spouses and children of green card holders and adult children of U.S. citizens to apply for unlawful presence waivers from within the U.S.
Previously, provisional waivers were available only to the spouse, parents, or minor children of us citizens.
Temporary relief from deportation and grant of work authorization if the person: passes criminal and national security background checks, pays taxes, pays a filing fee, DACA and DAPA work authorizations valid for 3 years, rather than current two year period.
Qualified DACA 2.0 and DAPA applicants may receive temporary relief from deportation and may be granted three-year renewable work permits if they pass criminal and national security background checks, pay taxes and filing fees and show proof of identity such as a Philippine passport.
“We know it takes a little while no, for the Philippine passport be here no, in other words personalization process takes six to eight weeks so they better do it now,” said ConGen Mario De Leon.
Immigration attorney Chris Hugo says that now is the right time to get started with their applications by getting paper works such as proof of identification and past immigration records ready.
“It’s important because sometimes we are not aware that we have a pending file or application to the USCIS,” said Hugo. “It may affect the process. We should save our money for lawyers and filing fees.”
The USCIS may start accepting DACA applications as early as February 2015 and around may 2015 for DAPA qualified applicants.