On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced that certain youth may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization, provided they can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment”. Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion, and is not a path to lawful permanent residency or citizenship. It is, however, a valuable tool for preventing deportation of the individuals that meet the eligibility criteria, as well as giving them the chance to acquire work permits for two years (subject to renewal).
Persons who meet the following criteria 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 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 making their request for consideration of 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; 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.
To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit a request for consideration of deferred action under this process.
After August 15, 2012, if you travel outside of the United States, you will not be considered for deferred action under this process. If USCIS defers action in your case, you will be permitted to travel outside of the United States only if you apply for and receive advance parole from USCIS.
Who Can Apply?
- If you have never been in removal proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated before your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.
- If you are in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and are not in immigration detention, you can request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals even if you are under the age of 15 at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.