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Do I need an Attorney to Apply for Deferred Action?

Posted by attorney Nicklaus Misiti

The short answer is no you do not because there is no written requirement or law any immigration application be prepared by an attorney. However, if you do decide to apply by yourself you should know that you are taking some very serious risks. Of course you have read the requirements and may feel you qualify. Of course you do not want to spend any extra money but before you fill out the forms and decide to go it alone stop and think about a few things because you may be making a huge mistake.

First, in order to qualify for Deferred Action you must by definition be out of status and in the country illegally. An individual that is out of status is according to law removable/deportable from the United States and may be subject to certain bars from returning. Do you really trust that you have correctly analyzed your case and sufficiently put together the application that you will literally put everything at risk to save a little over one thousand dollars. Immigration law is one of the most complex areas of law and although you can quickly search the web and find various information, there is no guarantee that information is accurate.

Second, most attorneys are not charging an arm and a leg for this application. You should expect to spend between $500 to $2500 depending upon the complexity of your case. For example, if there are no complexities to your matter my firm is charging just $750 plus filing fees. I know you may want to save that money but is it really worth the risk and do you feel confident enough to do it yourself. Attorneys at Misiti Global, PLLC are highly experienced in immigration law and have studied it for years and prepared many similar applications. When the stakes are so high wouldn’t you like to be sure you are working with a licensed professional who knows what they are doing.

Third, if you do make a mistake and your case is referred to an immigration judge DHS will have attorneys working to deport you. DHS’s job is to deport undocumented individuals who are here unlawfully and over the years they have gotten very good at it. They have heard every sympathetic story and have still gone ahead with removal because that is their job. They don’t care that you misread the requirements, made a silly mistake or did not include the correct information.

Fourth, upon reviewing your case our firm may determine that you qualify for some other form of relief that gives you a lawful status. Some individuals have acquired or derived US citizenship or otherwise qualify for a green card and have no idea. In working closely with our firm, we will be able to determine this and help you realize it.

Additional resources provided by the author

Nicklaus Misiti is the founder of Misiti Global, PLLC. Misiti Global is a full service immigration law firm located in New York City. Mr. Misiti is licensed in New York and a member of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association ("AILA"). If you are interested in more information regarding Deferred Action you can contact Mr. Misiti at 212 537 4407
or visit his website at

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