Applying for Deferred Action Status and Employment Authorization for Certain Childhood Arrivals

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As per the recent USCIS update on the new Deferred Action policy, forms and instructions to begin filing these cases will become available on August 15 2012 at As this date approaches, one way to prepare is to determine your legal eligibility and collect relevant documents and fees. Examples of items to collect in preparation include:

· USCIS filing fee: $465 (signed money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

· 2 passport style photos

· Copy of Birth Certificate, with translation

· Copy of all academic degree certificates, i.e. high school diploma, college degree, etc

· Copy of passport, visa stamp and I-94 used at time of entry into the U.S., or proof of date of entry into the U.S.

· Copy of final order of Immigration Judge if you have ever been in removal proceedings

· Copy of all criminal records (conviction and sentencing) for any offense committed in the U.S.

· Any evidence of residence in the U.S. since June 2007, including student ID’s, bills, driver’s license, bank account records, credit cards, employment documents, etc.

You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;

  6. 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

  7. 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

USCIS guidance on this policy indicates that applicants who are denied deferred action will not receive any refund of filing fees, and that USCIS will follow standard procedure for notifying Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the lawful status of applicants who are denied or ineligible for deferred action. This means that it is best to consult with an experienced Immigration attorney prior to filing your application, especially if you have any question as to your eligiblity due to criminal convictions.

For additional guidance on this issue, the USCIS has published an excellent resource, available at

For case specific guidance, it is best to obtain a consultation with an experienced Immigration attorney to determine your eligibility before filing.

Additional Resources

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If you want to visit or move permanently to the US, you'll want to learn about your different immigration options.

Deferred action

Deferred Action is a policy that allows qualifying immigrants to receive employment authorization and have removal proceedings delayed.

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