Many undocumented immigrants could qualify for permanent citizenship through the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The DREAM Act, which is currently pending review by the Senate after approval by the House of Representatives, applies to immigrants who entered the United States before age 16.
Learn more about the DREAM Act and whether you may qualify if the bill becomes law.
Conditional permanent status
Upon taking office, President Biden reinstated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for qualifying individuals. Immigrants would also qualify for Conditional Permanent Status (CPR) if they have DACA status or meet the requirements:
- Came to the U.S. prior to the age of 16
- Have a high school diploma or GED or are currently enrolled
- Have no convictions for violent crimes or a history of prosecution
Lawful permanent resident status
Immigrants qualify for lawful permanent residence (LPR) after they have CPR status and meet one of the following requirements:
- Higher education (degree or completed two years in good standing toward a bachelor’s degree or higher)
- Military service (honorable discharges only)
- Work (three years of employment, with 75 percent of that time having official employment authorization).
After keeping LPR status for five years, they can then apply for permanent citizenship.
The Migration Policy Institute estimates two million people qualify for CPR status under the DREAM Act. Of those two million, 1.7 million people qualify to remove the conditions on this status. Enrolling in school will qualify one million more people for CPR status.
A second pending bill, the Dream and Promise Act, could qualify a further three million individuals for CPR status.