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Assistance for Immigrants in the Greater Houston Region

The City of Houston and the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative  provide timely and accurate information to documented and undocumented immigrants in the Houston region. This site serves as a clearing house of information for immigrants seeking legal status through citizenship or deferred action. Find local organizations offering legal services, information sessions, and financial assistance.

 

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) Program

Are you the mother or father of a U.S. citizen or green-card holder

 

and

 

have you been living in the United States since January 1, 2010?
 

Learn about the DAPA program

 

two boys with Christmas frame

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Did you first come to the United States before you turned 16 years old?

 

and

 

have you been living here since January 1, 2010?
 

Learn about the expanded DACA program

Citizenship & Naturalization

Are you at least 18 years old?

 

and

 

Have you lived as a Legal Permanent Resident in the United States for at least three years?
 

Learn about becoming a citizen 

 

 

 

 

The Houston metro area is home to an estimated 1.4 million foreign-born residents, two thirds of whom are non-citizens.  The City of Houston is committed to helping its immigrant communities, which contribute to Houston’s social, economic and civic diversity.  One important way to help is by making sure that all Houstonians have legal immigration status so that they can fully participate American society without fear of deportation.

The City’s Office of International Communities has partnered with the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative to create this website. Immigration law is extremely complicated and there is a lot of misinformation. Dishonest immigration consultants – often known as “notarios” – prey on immigrants seeking legal status, often with disastrous results. One purpose for this site is to help you avoid an immigration scam.  

 

Executive Actions Change Immigration Policy

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced executive actions to address problems in our immigration system, and to help undocumented Americans gain legal status.  These changes include an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.  The Migration Policy Institute estimates that more than 200,000 undocumented immigrants in the Houston region may be eligible for legal status through these programs.

 

What is deferred action?

Under deferred action, the government will not place people who meet certain requirements into deportation proceedings.  Is is sort of like the government saying:  “We know you are in the country without permission or lawful immigration status, and we could deport you, but we will postpone any action on deporting you.”  It does not mean that a person with an approved deferred action request has legal immigration status, a visa or a green card.  And it is not a path to citizenship.  However, a person with deferred action is temporarily protected from deportation, and is eligible for a work permit.