Dream Act Attorney


Will The DREAM Act Help You Become A Permanent Resident?

The DREAM Act is the most important part of immigration reform for many immigrants.

If you were brought to the U.S. as a young child by parents who were not permanent residents, you may still lack legal immigration documents.

Once you get past high school, you’re trapped. You cannot work legally. You may not be able to go to college. You cannot join the military.

What Is The DREAM Act?

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act is a proposal to help undocumented immigrants, brought here as children, earn green cards and become permanent residents.

The DREAM Act is a path to earned legalization.

Step 1: Becoming a Conditional Lawful Resident

Under the current proposal, the DREAM Act has two steps. To qualify, you will need to show that you:

  • entered the United States before you were 16 years old
  • lived here for five years before the date when the DREAM Act becomes law – and on the date when the DREAM Act becomes law
  • graduated from a high school or earned a GED diploma
  • have not committed any crimes and possess good moral character

You will also need to pay a hefty penalty fee and demonstrate fluency in English. If you can fulfill all of these requirements, you will be granted “conditional” permanent residence for six years.

Step 2: Becoming a Permanent Resident

After the six-year period has ended, DREAM Act cases will be reviewed by immigration officers again. This time, you will need to prove that during the six-year period, you:

  • Successfully attended college or served in the armed forces for at least two years
  • Maintained a record of good moral character during the entire period

If, and only if, you have fulfilled these requirements, you will be allowed to become a regular lawful permanent resident.

Potential DREAM Act Problems

  • New Laws, New Obstacles

Almost every immigration program suffers severe backlogs. This causes long waiting periods.

And when a new law is passed, it causes new problems. After the law is passed, it might take another six months for it to go into effect. It might take 12 more months to be approved and printed.

Under the current DREAM Act proposal, only immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for five years before the law was passed qualify – and on the date that the DREAM Act became the law.

The longer it takes the government to start accepting applications, the harder it becomes to get records to prove the requirements have been fulfilled.

  • Conditional Residence Does Not Guarantee Permanent Residence

Even if you have been granted conditional residence, it does not mean you will earn a green card and lawful permanent residence at the second stage.

During the six-year conditional residence period, you need to maintain a record of good moral character. You also need to attend college or serve in the military for at least two years. Since you will be allowed to work, immigration officers will probably look at whether you paid your taxes in full, you owe past due child support or college loans, and other similar concerns.

Under the DREAM Act, legalization must be earned.  Permanent residence is not guaranteed.

We’ll Guide You Through The Entire Process

Of course, the DREAM Act has not passed. It is not the law. It will be debated by Congress in 2010.  If it is passed, it will not become the law for several months.  The final details will not be known until it becomes the law.

One thing is likely. The final DREAM Act will probably look different – it will probably have a few different rules and procedures.

Whatever the final regulations, the Law Offices of Immigration Green Card Attorney Carlos Batara will guide you through every step the DREAM Act process.