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New information revealed on immigration policy change

Last month, the Obama Administration announced a new policy aimed at granting work permits to young immigrants who are in the country illegally as an alternative to deportation. In addition to other requirements, the new rule applies to immigrants who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and, as of June 15, were not over age 30.

The Obama Administration stressed that the work permits will not create a pathway to United States citizenship, but it was reported that there will be no limit as to how many times a person can re-apply for the work permits to remain in the country lawfully. It is expected that more than 1 million young immigrants could be applying for work permits under the new policy.

According to documents marked "not for distribution" but obtained by the Associated Press, the costs connected to hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process the work permit requests could add up to more than $585 million.

The confidential documents also described the process immigrants will go through to apply for the work permits, including a $465 paperwork fee designed as a way to offset the costs of the policy change.

Applicants will also be required to submit a document entitled "Request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" at the same time they apply for a work permit, according to the Associated Press.

The Homeland Security Department will begin accepting applications for the work permits on Aug. 15, the Associated Press reported. However, a spokesman for the Homeland Security Department said that the documents obtained by the Associated Press were "preliminary" and many details are still being worked out.

In addition to the age requirements, it is clear that the following eligibility rules exist to obtain a work permit under the new policy:

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

We are a full-service immigration law firm and assist people applying for work permits. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our South Carolina immigration law website.

Source: Associated Press, "AP Exclusive: Internal documents shows Obama deportation proposal could cost more than $585M," Alicia A. Caldwell, July 24, 2012

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