WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
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 lived in the United States since June 15, 2012 to the present; 4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at that 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.
DOES THIS GRANT LAWFUL STATUS?
No. Deferring action is a determination by the USCIS to defer removal proceedings and grant you the right to work in the United States. It does not lead to US citizenship or confer lawful permanent residence.
HOW DO I APPLY?
In order to request consideration for a deferred action for childhood arrival, you must submit the following: 1. Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; 2. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and 3. Form I-765WS, Form I-765 Worksheet. You must be able to submit documentation to prove that you meet the guidelines along with your completed, properly signed forms, and the required filing fees. There is a filing fee of $380 to file the I-765, and a biometric services fee of $85, for a total of $465.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION OF DEFERRED ACTION?
After you file the proper forms, USCIS will review them for completeness, submission of the correct fee, and whether you provided sufficient evidence as required. If USCIS determines that you have submitted the proper fees, evidence and documents, they will issue you a receipt notice. You will then receive a notice scheduling you to visit an Application Support Center for biometric testing. The USCIS will also do a background check on you to see whether you have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor offense, three or more misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission or scheme of misconduct, or otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety.
DO I NEED TO USE AN ATTORNEY TO FILE?
No, you do not need to. However, it is in your best interest to use an attorney to file for you because not only do you have to fill in the forms properly, but you need to provide sufficient evidence that you meet the legal criteria for obtaining the deferred action. An immigration attorney understands how to best present evidence to adequately meet the criteria and obtain approval of your deferred action request. In addition, an attorney reviewing your case before submission can ensure that there is no reason preventing you from qualifying for the deferred action, or which would create a risk of your case being referred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the issuance of a Notices to Appear (NTA).