USCIS Begins Accepting Requests for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On August 15, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. Effective immediately, young people may request consideration of deferred action if they:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching 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 making request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or 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; and
  • 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.
  • On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may request, on a case-by-case basis, consideration of deferred action.

According to USCIS, deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. USCIS will review requests and make decisions on a case-by-case basis. While it does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, individuals whose cases are deferred as part of this process will not be removed from the United States for a two-year period, subject to renewal, and may also apply for employment authorization.

In order to be considered for deferred action, an applicant must file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood ArrivalsForm I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-765WS, Worksheet, establishing applicant’s economic need for employment. The total fee for forms I-821D, I-765 and the I-765WS is $465, which includes a $380 form fee for the I-765 and an $85 biometric services fee.

DO NOT submit application for travel document together with your application for deferred action. If you do, your entire submission will be rejected and returned to you. If your application for deferred action is approved, then you can apply for a travel document (advance parole) by separately filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and paying the applicable fee ($360).

To learn more about the deferred action for childhood arrivals process, please visit childhood arrivals or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have provided consultation and legal help to many immigrants, including in complicated cases involving removal proceedings. To explore your immigration options, please contact us at +1-703-527-1779 or via email at [email protected].