Administrative Relief

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Read the President's Remarks on Immigration

There are an estimated 11.7 million undocumented or unauthorized immigrants living in the United States. According to the National Immigration Law Center, more than 1,100 immigrants are separated from their families and communities each day through deportations.

With no Congressional action to reform immigrant policies in sight, the Obama Administration is now considering using its legal authority to provide Administrative Relief for individuals or groups facing deportation.Administrative Relief is based on prosecutorial discretion, that is the power and ability of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to make decisions about how immigration laws should be applied and whether or not unauthorized individuals can temporarily remain and/or work in the country.

Prosecutorial discretion is a long-accepted legal practice covering a broad range of actions, including enforcement and discretionary remedies such deferred action, stay of removal or parole. A favorable act of Prosecutorial Discretion does not provide legal status or a pathway to permanent residency, but it does grant temporary relief from deportation and allow individuals to legally remain in and/or work in the country. DHS’s prosecutorial discretion powers include the ability to expand prosecutorial guidelines, to not place a potentially deportable immigrant in deportation proceedings, to suspend, postpone or in some cases end a deportation proceeding, to release an individual from detention, to lower the priority of a case that does not serve enforcement interests, or to grant work authorization.

San Francisco is ready, capable and prepared to leverage its existing efforts and implement activities to support Administrative Relief. Together with our philanthropic, community and city partners, OCEIA will be coordinating efforts citywide.

How to Prepare for AR

Whatever the type of Administrative Relief announced, certain steps may be easily taken by potential applicants prior to application process implementation. To assist potential applicants, OCEIA will coordinate efforts among existing City, Community and philanthropic partners.


Document Collection

Proof of Identity & Physical Presence

·   Birth certificates

·   Marriage certificates

·   Divorce decrees

·   Passports

·   Taxes including W2s

·   School records

·   Medical records

·   Bank records

·   Rental or title records

·   Insurance records

Criminal & Immigration Records

·   “Rap sheets”

·   Court dockets

·   Final dispositions

·   FBI background checks

·   FOIA requests

Filing Fees

·   Fee waiver application assistance

·   Monetary resources (i.e. savings accounts or loan programs)

Outreach, Education & Fraud Protection

The latest and most accurate information regarding any changes affecting the application process to assist potential applicants from becoming a victim of a fraud.

AR Resources

AR Information: Chinese, English, Filipino, Russian & Spanish (PDF)