On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a memorandum that allows certain young people who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own to apply for deferred action on deportation orders. To qualify for deferred action, individuals will have to meet specific criteria, such as being age 15 or younger at the time of arrival in the United States, having lived in the U.S. continuously for at least 5 years prior to release of the Secretary's memorandum, having graduated from school or be a current student or have an honorable discharge from the armed services, not have committed felony crimes or certain misdemeanors, and be under the age of 30. It is important to note that deferred action does not equal citizenship or permanent resident status. It is a two-year deferral from removal action, subject to renewal. If deferment action is granted, individuals may then be given employment authorization if the need for income is proven. Even if an individual is in a final order of removal, he or she can apply for deferred action. Eligible individuals who are about to be removed by ICE should immediately contact the Law Enforcements Support Center's hotline or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate. The following procedure has been outlined by USCIS for those who believe they meet the requirements for deferred action:
Three forms are required by USCIS to be considered for deferred action:
Each form should be filled out completely and signed before being submitted to USCIS. Forms must be accompanied by the required fees and documentation to be considered. Read the form instructions completely.
Applications for deferred action that do not include the required fees will not be considered by USCIS. Fees for forms I-821D, I-765, and I-765WS total $465, which includes a $380 fee for the I-765 and an $85 biometric services fee. Fee waivers for the employment authorization applications are not available. There are fee exemptions, but they are very limited. Requests for fee exemptions must be submitted and accepted before an individual can file a request for deferred action without a fee. To be considered for fee exemption, you must submit proof to USCIS that you meet one of the following conditions:
Evidence of the need for fee exemption includes affidavits from community-based or religious organizations to establish homelessness or lack of support; copies of tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, or other evidence of income level; copies of medical records, insurance records, bank statements, or other evidence of unreimbursed medical expenses of at least $25,000; filled out requests for evidence (RFEs).
Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, requires documentation to prove that an individual meets the guidelines for deferred action. Below are examples of acceptable documentation:
What Happens Next
Once the forms are all filled out and signed, all documentation is gathered, and the fees are attached, everything should be submitted to the USCIS Lockbox. Once received, USCIS will review the packet for completeness, including fees and documentation. If the submission is complete, USCIS will then send out a receipt notice, followed by a notice for the biometrics services appointment at the Application Support Center. Not attending the biometrics appointment may delay processing of your request or even result in denial. Requests for consideration of deferred action are considered on a case-by-case basis. USCIS may contact you for further documentation or request that you appear at a USCIS office. USCIS will notify individuals of its determination in writing.