Friday, September 21, 2012

USCIS Releases New and Improved DACA Guidance

From the National Immigration Law Center:

Are you (or your clients) waiting to apply for DACA because you’ve used a Social Security Number (SSN) that was not yours? Or is your employer afraid to provide you with employment records out of fear of immigration enforcement? Are you wondering how many documents are needed to prove your residence in the U.S.? Helpful new guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may answer your questions!

• Guidance on SSNs

USCIS’s recently updated FAQ on DACA clarify that Form I-765 only asks for SSNs that have been formally issued to the applicant by the Social Security Administration. Thus, an applicant does not need to list any other SSNs that he or she may have used in the past. (See Question 9 under “Filing Process.”)

• Guidance to Employers

The new USCIS FAQ also let employers know that documentation that they provide to DACA-eligible employees about their employment will not be shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) except in cases of egregious criminal violations or abuses. (See Question 4 under “Evidence.”)

Despite this helpful guidance to employers, NILC continues to recommend that DACA applicants avoid submitting employment records that reflect an SSN that does not belong to the applicant, unless the applicant has no other evidence to support DACA eligibility. In such situations, NILC advises applicants to consult with an immigration attorney or attend a DACA legal clinic before submitting a DACA application.

• Guidance on Proving Continuous Residence

A person must prove that he or she has continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, in order to be eligible for deferred action under DACA. Many applicants were concerned about how to document summer months when they were not in school or other, similar gaps. Others have been wondering whether they need to submit one document for each month. USCIS has clarified that only one document per year is required. (See Question 3 under “Evidence.”)



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