The Department of Homeland Security announced dramatic reform in the Obama administration’s immigration policy to stop deporting and begin granting work permits to young law-abiding, illegal immigrants. Although not a path to citizenship, immigrants will be able to apply for a two-year renewable work permit that allows them to work in the U.S. legally.

Applicants must meet certain criteria, specifically:

  • Be between the ages of 15 and 30-years-old.
  • Have entered the U.S. before 16-years-old.
  • Have maintained continuous residency for at least 5 consecutive years as of June 15, 2012.
  • Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor or felony.
  • Have enrolled in/graduated high school, obtained a GED, or joined the U.S. military.

Young applicants will have to proactively apply and pay for the temporary change of status at a USCIS office, and subsequently apply for a temporary work permit. The new initiative is expected to impact a potential 800,000 individuals in the U.S. Contact our San Antonio Perez & Malik, PLLC immigration lawyers to learn how you can take advantage of this significant change.

Goodwin, Liz. “White House to halt deportation of young illegal immigrants.”  June 15, 2012.