Deferred Action for Students
The USCIS started accepting applications for "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. This law firm is proving free consultations until 03/01/2013 to students who are interested in using an attorney to obtain individual guidance, file and monitor the progress of their applications. Please call us at (212) 279-9020 to schedule an appointment.
On June 15, 2012, DHS announced that certain young people who entered the U.S. before age 16 will no longer be removed from the United States. Qualifying individuals will be granted "deferred action" and be eligible for a work permit. Deferred action is not a new law but is a discretionary act on the part of the government. It is considered an act of prosecutorial discretion. The deferred action policy allows foreign born individuals who came to the U.S. as children to apply for a work permit and possibly extensions of it. A work permit is necessary to be able to obtain a social security number and be able to work. Deferred action does not lead to a green card or citizenship and is subject to change by the government.
On August 14, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a memo detailing how the new deferred action program will work.
Individuals who meet the following criteria will be considered for deferred action:
1. Have arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of sixteen;
2. Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
3. Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
4. Not have been convicted of a felony offense, a "significant misdemeanor offense," three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
5. Have been under thirty-one years old on June 15, 2012.
The deferred action offer will be available to those in proceedings, as well as those who apply affirmatively.
Individuals who face imminent removal from the United States and who believe they can demonstrate that they satisfy the eligibility criteria should immediately contact our office for assistance if you require an attorney.
Requests for deferred action will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and not every young immigrant will qualify. Individuals who are found to be ineligible due to criminal history or because they represent a danger to the community may be subject to removal or other immigration enforcement action. DHS considers many misdemeanor offenses to be "significant misdemeanors," including those for which the individual received no jail time. If you have ever been arrested by the police, talk to a qualified immigration attorney before applying for deferred action.
Gather the documents that you will need to apply for deferred action:
1) Documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, showing age on June 15, 2012;
2) Financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records that demonstrate an individual came to the U.S. before the age of 16, AND resided in the U.S. for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 AND was physically present in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012;
3) School records, including diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts and other evidence of enrollment, or documentation as an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard.
Forms for DREAMers
Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Form I-821D Instructions
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
Form I-765 Instructions
Form I-765 Worksheet
Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
Latest USCIS Deferred Action Rules (See FAQs updated January 18, 2013)
Video on Deferred Action
Deferred Action Chart from USCIS
Guidance for Getting a Filing Fee Exemption
Deferred Action Rules (August 3, 2012)
USCIS Brochure on How to Apply
Department of Homeland Security Press Release
DHS Secretary Napolitano's Memorandum Announcing Prosecutorial Discretion for Individuals Who Came to the US as Children(June 15, 2012)