The Obama administration said Friday that it will start charging young illegal immigrants $465 for temporary work permits to avoid deportation under a new immigration policy announced earlier this summer.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting applications Aug. 15 for the DREAM Act-like policy, which is being implemented without congressional approval.
Under the new policy, eligible applicants must have arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday, be 30 years old or younger, lived in the U.S. for at least five years and be in school, graduated or served in the military. They must not have been convicted of a felony, three misdemeanors or one "significant" misdemeanor such as driving under the influence or gun or sex charges, according to the Associated Press.
The administration said applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis at one of four service centers run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. It’s unclear how long the process will take, but some immigrants are expected to receive temporary legal status before Election Day, according to ABC News reported.
The deportation deferrals are valid for two years, after which they will need to be renewed. Fee waivers will be available under "limited circumstances," according to the Department of Homeland Security.
According to CNN, administration officials made clear that though successful applicants would stave off deportation for two years, the program would in no way speed their path to full citizenship.
Internal documents obtained by the AP estimate that more than 1 million applicants are expected in the policy's first year, more than 3,000 a day. Cost estimates to process applications are between $467 million and $585 million; fee revenues are estimated at $484 million.