Based on the Secretary of Homeland Security’s June 15th, 2012 announcement, applicants for deferred action for childhood arrivals must show among other requirements that they are either:
1.currently in school,
2.have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school,
3.have obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or
4.are honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
What exactly United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) considers being “in school” isn’t as straightforward as it seems. It is not just the definition of “in school” that’s important but also what USCIS defines the actual idea of “school” to be.
According to USCIS “in school” means…
Documents required to show that an applicant for Deferred Action is currently in school include:
a. Acceptance letters,
b. School registration cards,
c. Letters from school or program,
e. Report cards, or
f. Progress reports showing the name of the school or program, date of enrollment, and current educational or grade level.
Programs funded by other sources (such as the private sector) if administered by providers of demonstrated effectiveness, meaning programs which have shown their competence and effectiveness. such as institutions of higher education, including community colleges, and certain community-based organizations.
In assessing the demonstrated effectiveness of programs not funded in whole or in part by federal or state grants USCIS will consider:
Applicants seeking to show that they are “currently in school” through enrollment in such non Federal or state funded programs, must show the program’s demonstrated effectiveness based on USCIS standard.
In certain situations, enrollment into ESL program may meet the in school requirement for deferred action only if it is shown that participation in the ESL program is required and necessary for placement in postsecondary education, job training or employment.
Applicants must be enrolled in school on the date they submit their application for deferred action status in order for them to be considered “currently in school”
Evidence of High School graduation include, a high school diploma from a public or private high school or secondary school, or a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma under state law, E.g. a General Education Development (GED) certificate, certificate of completion, a certificate of attendance, or an alternate award from a public or private high school or secondary school.
USCIS goal is to ensure that applicants for Deferred Action are seeking to continue into higher education ultimately, or will be going onto gainful employment due to their previous training.