I've never been convicted of any misdemeanors,or anything of that sort. I graduated high school and have been residing in California for a long time. Can I file it myself?
There is no process yet to apply for the new Deferred Action, unless you are already in deportation proceedings or detained. The process will be announced around August 15. The details my colleague mentioned are the eligibility criteria, which will give you an idea whether you qualify.
Some immigrants will absolutely need an immigration attorney to apply. And absolutely everybody who applies should consult an immigration attorney first. But not every applicant will need full legal services, unless the application process turns out to be very complicated (which we don't expect). So the starting point is to consult an attorney. I believe the Immigrant Legal Resource Center is developing a list of nonprofits and attorneys who will be willing to do advice-only consultations for a nominal fee. Good luck.
To add to my esteemed colleagues answers, I would strongly encourage you to seek legal counsel. The reasons being that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a renewable work permit, driver's license and social security number. Keep in mind that there is no appeal once deferred action has been denied. (Only a supervisory quality assurance review).
In addition, you have not mentioned other factors which can be an issue in your application - have you left the country at any point in the last five years? Have you forged any documents while you've been in the U.S.? Do you have a fake identification card? Fake driver's license? How do these factors impact your application? A qualified lawyer not only looks at the facts you are presenting, but also asks you probing questions to make sure everything important has been disclosed to USCIS.
This is an investment in your future and should be taken very seriously.
Yes, you can file yourself.
Consider this. I can crawl under my car and change the transmission. But, since I'm not a mechanic I'm almost certain to make a mess of things.
Be wise and invest in your future ... hire a professional. Many of us are giving advice now, to help you get prepared for August 15th.
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