Deferred Action is a discretionary determination to defer removal or deportation action of an individual from the United States.
Individuals granted Deferred Action status are eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of Deferred Action (which is two years subject to renewal) provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.”
Applicants must demonstrate eligibility for Deferred Action status through verifiable documentations.
Guidelines of Requirements for Applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
In order to be considered for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; applicants must submit evidence, including supporting documents, showing that they:
• Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
• Entered the United States before the date of their 16th birthday.
• Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time.
• Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of filing their application for Deferred Action with USCIS.
• Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012.
• Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
• Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Applicants Age for Deferred Action
• An applicant who has never been in removal or deportation proceedings (or whose proceedings have been terminated before the filing of their application for Deferred Action status) must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing and meet the other requirements.
• An applicant in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and are not in immigration detention; can apply for Deferred Action status, even if under the age of 15 at the time of application and meet the other requirements.
• In all instances, applicants cannot be 31 years of age or older as of June 15, 2012.
Currently in School for Deferred Action Purpose
To be considered “currently in school” under USCIS guidelines for Deferred Action, applicants must be enrolled in school on the date their application for Deferred Action is submitted to USCIS.
Interruption of Continuous Residence Requirement for Deferred Action
Travel outside the U.S before August 15, 2012
A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt an applicant’s continuous residency for the purpose of applying for Deferred Action.
If an applicant was absent from the United States for any period of time, his or her absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was before August 15, 2012, and:
• The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence
• The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal.
• The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure.
• The purposes of the absence and/or actions while outside the United States were not contrary to law.
• The absence was not for an extended period of time.
Any travel outside of the United States that occurred before August 15, 2012, will be assessed by USCIS to determine whether the travel qualifies as brief, casual and innocent.
Travel outside the U.S after August 15, 2012.
• Travel outside the U.S after August 15, 2012, but before an applicant files a request for Deferred Action with USCIS, will prevent such applicant from meeting the continuous presence requirement and hence ineligible for Deferred Action status.
• Travel outside the U.S after August 15, 2012 but after an applicant has filed a request for Deferred Action with USCIS, will prevent the applicant from meeting the continuous presence requirement and hence ineligible for Deferred Action status.
An applicant for Deferred Action cannot travel outside the U.S while his or her application is pending and undergoing review with USCIS.
Travel outside the U.S after Approval of Deferred Action Status.
If USCIS grants Deferred Action status, applicants will be permitted to travel outside of the United States only if they apply for and receive Advance Parole (advance Permission to Travel) from USCIS.
A beneficiary of an approved Deferred Action intending to travel outside the United States must apply for Advance Parole.
USCIS generally, will grant Advance Parole if an applicant is traveling for humanitarian purposes, educational purposes, or employment purposes.
Advance Parole cannot be applied for unless and until USCIS grants Deferred Action status, neither can it be filed concurrently with the application for Deferred Action.
Note: According to USCIS, Persons in unlawful status or are currently in removal proceedings, and depart from the United States without a grant of Advance Parole, will be deemed to have self-deported.
Unlawful Presence in the U.S & Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Unlawful presence refers to a period an individual is present in the United States:
• Without being admitted or paroled.
• After the expiration of a period of stay authorized by Department of Homeland Security (such as after one’s I-94 has expired).
Persons in the U.S unlawfully begin to accrue the status of Unlawful Presence in the U.S from 18 years of age.
• Applicants will continue to accrue Unlawful Presence while the request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is pending, unless less than 18 years of age at the time the application is filed. • If an applicant is under 18 years of age at the time of filing the application for Deferred Action but turns 18 while his or her application is pending with USCIS, such applicant will not accrue Unlawful Presence while the application is pending.
• An individual granted Deferred Action will not be considered to be accruing Unlawful Presence in the United States during the period Deferred Action is in effect .
• Deferred Action does not excuse individuals of any previous or subsequent periods of Unlawful Presence in the United States.
Deferred Action & Lawful Immigration Status.
Despite the grant of Deferred Action and the non-accrual of Unlawful Presence during the period of Deferred Action, Deferred Action does not confer any lawful Immigration status.
Persons granted Deferred Action, though protected from deportation, lack lawful Immigration status and remain subject to all legal restrictions and prohibitions on individuals in unlawful status.
Being granted Deferred Action does not confer lawful Permanent Resident status or create a pathway to citizenship.
A pathway to lawful Immigration Status can only be provided for through the act of Congress.
Deferred Action & Immigration Enforcement through Deportation
Information provided in an application for deferred action will be protected from disclosure to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the purpose of deportation, unless the applicant meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice to Appear for deportation. The protection covers family members and guardians, Individuals, whose cases are approved for deferred Action status, will not be referred to ICE. However, were an applicant knowingly make a misrepresentation, or knowingly fail to disclose facts, or commits fraud during the application for deferred action status, Such an applicant will be subject to criminal prosecution and/or removal from the United States.
Deferred Action & Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
The grant of deferred action is a step towards comprehensive immigration reform, including the DREAM Act. President Obama believes these steps are critical to building a 21st century immigration system.
Eligible Applicants for Deferred Action in Immigration Detention
Individuals currently in immigration detention that meets the requirements for deferred action should request deferred action status from Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE) and not USCIS.