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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Jessica Contreras is hopeful about her senior year in high school.
"I've always had this dream of going to Chapel Hill," said Jessica Contreras.
"That's something I really want to do."
The 17-year-old from Mexico dreams of getting her driver's permit, voting and going to college.
But her dreams are in a holding pattern for now.
"Everybody else is getting their permits at school and I'm sitting here like ok I'm undocumented I can't do that, " said Jessica.
Without a legal status, Jessica can't get a higher education.
She is hopeful in President Barack Obama's deferred deportation program which, if approved, would grant her legal status in the country for two years.
But she says she is also cautious.
"There is still this edge like ok I'll send this in but what if they say ok that's not enough information and they deny you because of that," said Jessica.
The process is nerve-wracking for many undocumented immigrants.
It means coming out of the shadows and admitting to their legal status.
Then students have to prove they've been in the U.S. continuously for the last five years.
Applicants must also prove they were the country on June 15, 2012.
"For me that's hard because over the summers I never really did anything," said Jessica.
"They didn't do anything during the summer because they can't work," said Armando Bellmas from the Latin American Coalition. "They couldn't go anywhere so they just spent their summer hanging out with their friends and not doing much so there's not much evidence to present."
After filling out the six-page application and meeting the program's long list of requirements, applicants must then wait.
"We're not sure when exactly those are going to come back with either approvals or rejections," said Bellmas. "So we're still kind of waiting on that part."
Since the program was recently approved on August 15th, no one is really sure how long the application process will take.
But for Jessica having the opportunity to stay in the country where she was raised is worth the wait.
Immigration Officials say the requirement list is extensive given the potential for fraud.