Part 1: Common Questions & Answers About Eligibility Under the proposed DREAM Act Legislation
I have a question about the Dream act to get my Green Card. I am 27 and
came to the U.S. with my parents when I was 11. I have never left the
U.S. and it feels like the only home I’ve ever known, but it’s
been so hard being here not knowing what my future will be. This new
possibility gives me hope but I’m wondering if I am still eligible
because I am married. Will my being married make me no longer eligible?
Fortunately, under the proposed Dream Act of 2009 and American Dream
Act legislation, marital status is not a factor in eligibility.
Therefore, once the law passes, as long as an individual meets the other
eligibility requirements, they will still be eligible for conditional
U.S. Residency (a Green Card) whether married or single.
If I came to the U.S. when I was age 9 and have lived here ever since
and have just completed a four-year college degree, will I be able to
get a Permanent Green Card, instead of having to go through six years as
a Conditional resident, since I have already fulfilled all the
requirements for it?
Under the current Congressional proposals, six years of Conditional
U.S. Residency is required before obtaining a final Permanent Green
Card. This applies even to those who have already met (and exceeded) all
the requirements (2 yrs of college or 2 yrs of military service).
However, we have yet to see if the final law provides more positive
provisions in this regard.
I was 12 when I came to the U.S. and I am now in High School, but I
have three more years before I graduate. Does this mean that since I
have not yet graduated from High School or earned a GED that I won’t be
able to be legalized?
The current legislation is written very broadly and will become much
more detailed as it moves through the Congress. Immigration experts
believe that children who meet the requirements of having entered the
U.S. before age 16 and who have lived in the U.S. continuously for at
least five years before the law’s enactment will be afforded at least
some legal “status”. The most likely possibility is that this legal
“status” will be conferred on children who meet the requirements,
but have not yet graduated from High School or earned a GED and then
once they have fulfilled the educational requirement, the child will be
able to obtain the six year Conditional U.S. Residency.
I am 34 now and have lived in America since I was brought here by my
grandmother when I was 8. Once the law passes, it will take me at least
two more years to fulfill the college requirement and by that time, I’ll
be over age 35. Does that mean I won’t be able to qualify?
The legislative proposals allow individuals who meet all the other
eligibility requirements to obtain Conditional U.S. Residency for a
six year period. Therefore, as long an individual is under age 35 at
the time the law is passed (under the Senate version), he or she will
still qualify for a Conditional Green Card. During the six year
Conditional U.S. Residency period, the education or military requirement
would have to be satisfied and the age at which these obligations are
satisfied will not matter, as long as they are completed within the six
year required period.
My parents brought me to the United States when I was 14 and I have
been living with my Auntie here ever since. My family all went home, I
am the only one who has stayed. Once I get the temporary green card,
will I be able to travel to go and see them? They no longer have a
tourist visa so they can’t visit me in the U.S.
The Conditional U.S. Residency status given to qualifying
individuals will allow them to work, obtain Social Security
numbers, obtain Driver’s Licenses and of course, travel abroad. However,
there are going to be very strict limitations on absences from the
U.S., so once the final law passes, individuals will need to limit trips
outside the U.S. accordingly.
brother and I have been living here in the U.S. since we were under age
15. We have both graduated high school and can’t attend college because
of our immigration status. The new law will change our lives and make
our dreams come true! The only question I have is about my brother. When
he was in high school, he got a traffic ticket for driving without a
license and had to go to court and pay a fine. We are afraid that now he
won’t qualify for that conditional residency, is that true?
current proposals require “Good Moral Character” which generally means
that only minor, non-drug related misdemeanors are allowed. Minor
traffic and driver’s license related violations will likely not
negatively affect eligibility.
My parents brought me to America when I was 11, then they applied for
some kinds of visas which were all denied and finally filed for asylum.
That was also denied and now it’s on appeal. I will graduate high school
soon and I want to know if the asylum denial will prevent me from
qualifying for the dream act?
The proposed legislation only currently prohibits those individuals
with a final order of deportation from qualifying for conditional
residency. However, the final legislation may provide more liberal
benefits, even to those who have received final orders, who are able to
have their cases reopened.