The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) was a proposal enacted by the US legislation on August 1, 2001. It was re-introduced in the US Senate on May 11, 2011. Through this enactment, illegals and foreign national students who graduate from US high schools having good moral character, but are deportable can get conditional residency. To qualify, they should have entered the US legally or illegally as minors. In addition, they should have been in the US continuously for a period of at least five years before the bill was enacted.
The DREAM Act can turn to a win-win situation. It would give legal status to illegal students, who can contribute to the US and on the other hand, the US can use the students’ education and talents. If you (the student) contribute two years in the US military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning, you will qualify for six years of temporary residence. Within this six year period, you are required to get a degree from an institution of higher education in the US or completed at least two years in a program for a bachelor’s degree or higher degree in the US OR served in the armed services for at least 2 years. If you served in the armed services and discharged, it should have been an honorable discharge.
If your permanent resident status is terminated, you will return to the immigration status you were immediately before you got conditional permanent resident status under the DREAM Act. Per the 2009 version of the senate bill, you should submit evidence of having arrived in the US before reaching 16 years of age. You should possess residence proof in the US for at least five years since you arrived. In addition, you should have registered with the Selective Service (if male) and be between 12 and 30 years old at the time the DREAM Act was enacted. Apart from the said requirements, you should have graduated from an US high school, got a GED, or admitted to an institution of higher education. Not to forget having a good moral character.
If the DREAM Act is passed and you meet all the requirements mentioned above, you have to pply for the DREAM Act. There are no clear guidelines on how to apply as the bill is not passed as yet. After it is approved and you are given conditional residency, you are required to enroll in an institution of higher education to get a bachelor’s degree or higher degree OR enlist in one of the branches of the US Military. Before completing six years of approval for conditional residency, you should have completed at least two years of one of the points mentioned in the previous sentence. After you complete five and a half years of the six year period, you are eligible to apply for Legal Permanent Residence. You then subsequently qualify for American Citizenship five years after being a legal permanent resident.
If you have already completed at least two years of college education towards a bachelor’s degree or higher degree, you still are required to wait the five and half years to qualify for Legal Permanent Residency though you might already got a degree.