1

Get or retain documents showing physical residence in the U.S.

Any amnesty legislation will require an applicant to have been physically present or continuously residing in the United States since a date certain as specified in the final bill. While there will likely be no list of magic documents, you can begin to organize those you have, including for example employment verification and pay stubs showing the date and the individual's name, bank statements or letters from the bank declaring the dates your account(s) were opened, deposit history, and current balance, lease agreements for all apartments rented in the United States, titles and/or mortgage documents for any property you own, postmarked mail, greeting cards received during Christmas, other holidays or special occasions, diplomas, certificates, prizes, or awards earned by you or your family, as well as homework completed by your children and photographs of your children.

2

Be prepared to establish good moral character

In all amnesty-like programs over the past 25 years, Congress has excluded persons with certain criminal records. For this reason, individuals who have had any contact with an immigration or law enforcement agency should consult with an attorney in order to obtain the necessary documents and files establishing not only the details of the incident, but also the outcome. This is true regardless of how much time has passed since the incident. Even if the case did not result in a criminal conviction or the charges were dropped or dismissed, the applicant is still required to submit documentation detailing the outcome of the case. In determining that an applicant should be granted resident status, the immigration service generally would like to see that the applicant has obeyed the laws of the United States.

3

Document Good Moral Character

State and federal 1099 and W-2 forms for each year in the United States. Persons working in the United States must pay federal taxes, regardless of whether they were paid in cash or another method of payment. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) can be obtained for tax purposes. Letter from a church or religious community of which you are a member demonstrating membership dates, activities and other contributions. Evidence of any activities in which you have been involved outside of work. Documentary evidence of all the activities in which your children have been involved outside of school, including extracurricular lessons, sports, scout troops, etc. Proof that you and your children speak English.

4

Beware of Non-Lawyer Immigration Consultants

No one can practice law without a law license or special authority granted by the U.S. Government. Yet there will be many "immigration consultants" and "notarios" that will take advantage of an amnesty program. These people often take persons money and then disappear without providing a service, or provide useless services to persons that expect more. Be careful whom you hire to advise you.