The Dream Act of 2017 lays out a three-step path to citizenship, first providing Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) status to undocumented youth who:
- entered the United States under the age of 18,
- entered four years prior to enactment and have since been continuously present,
- have not been convicted of a crime where the term of imprisonment was more than a year, or convicted of 3 or more offenses were the aggregate sentence was 90 days or more (with an exception for offenses which are essential to a person’s immigration status), and
- have been admitted to an institution of higher education, have graduated high school or obtained a GED, is currently enrolled in secondary school or a program assisting students to obtain a diploma or GED.
Anyone with status under DACA is immediately granted CPR status for up to eight years, which includes work authorization.
After maintaining CPR status, individuals become eligible for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status—a green card holder. In order to receive LPR status an individual must either complete at least two years of higher education or two years of military service with an honorable discharge, or demonstrate employment over a total period of three years.
Additionally, LPR applicants with disabilities, who are full-time caregivers for a minor child, or an applicant whose deportation would cause extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse, parents, or child can receive a “hardship waiver” which exempts them from the higher education, military service, or work requirements.