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Young immigrants can begin applying for work permits next week

August 15 is an important day for young undocumented immigrants in South Carolina and the rest of the United States. This marks the inauguration of the Obama Administration's new policy that allows certain young immigrants to apply for temporary protection from deportation and removal.

Beginning next week, eligible young immigrants will have the opportunity to apply for work permits even though they are in the country illegally. The Obama Administration explained that while the work permits will not provide a path to citizenship, there will no limit on how many times people can apply.

Undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and, as of June 15, were not over age 30 are eligible to qualify for the work permits. However, three additional qualifications must also be met. They are:

  1. Eligible applicants must have been living in the United States for at least five years;
  2. Eligible applicants must be in school or graduated or served in the military; and
  3. Eligible applicants must not have a criminal record or otherwise pose a safety threat.

It is expected that as many as 1 million young immigrants currently living in the United States could qualify for the work permits. The application process will require the submission of a "Request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" form along with a $465 processing fee, which can be waived for qualifying low-income individuals.

It is recommended that young immigrants planning on applying for the work permits begin gathering documents now in preparation. These documents may include passports, birth certificates, diplomas, report cards, school transcripts, employment records or military records.

For assistance or more information, contact an immigration attorney in your area.

Source: Holland Sentinel, "Some undocumented immigrants eligible for deportation protection Aug. 15," Aug. 9, 2012

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