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President Obama’s executive action on immigration will have a significant impact on the lives of millions of families. For example, the action defers deportations for three years for immigrants who have lived here for over five years as long as they are parents of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. It also streamlines the visa application process and redefines how customs enforcement will be handled.

While it is not possible to take advantage of the executive action just yet, there are steps you can take now. If you are an immigrant without legal residency status, you should:

  • Find original documents. You won’t be able to apply for certain government programs until February of 2015 or May 2015– depending on which program you qualify for, so take this time to find original documents that prove your identity.
  • Gather your records. You will need to prove how long you have lived here. This can be done with rental agreements, pay stubs, utility bills, school records and other related identity records.
  • Find proof of residency for your relatives. Part of applying for deferred deportation is showing that your family member is a legal permanent resident or citizen of the United States.
  • Use caution. There are a number of con artists out there who are accepting money from applicants who do not know that it is not time to apply yet. If you are asked for money now, there is a chance that you may be the victim of fraud. You should also not give cash in exchange for a promise for deferred action. The government has the final say, so no one can guarantee that your application will be accepted.
  • Seek legal guidance. There are advocacy organizations and immigration attorneys who can provide you accurate and cost-effective advice.

Now is a great time to learn about how executive action will affect you and your family. For the first time, you may have an opportunity to live without the constant threat of deportation. Contact the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. to discuss your situation with a reliable and experienced attorney. Call (800) 792-9889.