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Just announced New Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Plan under USCIS

By August 12, 2012October 8th, 2018No Comments

Nearly 900,000  immigrants will immediately benefit from the new Department of Homeland Security’s “Deferred Action” plan. See general details about eligibility and requirements below. You can also find more information about the program on the USCIS official FAQ  page.

Who can apply?
Those immigrants may apply for deferred action if  they:
  •  currently have no valid immigration status;
  •  were under 16 when they entered the United States;
  •  were 30 or younger as of June 15, 2012;
  • lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007;
  • have not been convicted of specified criminal offenses and pose no threat to public safety; AND
  • are in school on the date the application is filed, have graduated from high school or earned a GED, or served in the military.
 EXCEPTIONS: Only those who are currently 15 or older will be considered under this deferred application process, unless they are currently in removal proceedings or have a final order of removal or voluntary departure.
How much will the application cost?
There will be no fee associated with the  actual deferred action application itself. Applicants will have to pay an $85 biometrics fee and recipients of deferred action, who want a work permit, will have to pay an additional standard  fee of $380 for their Employment Authorization Document (EAD). More information on fee exemptions will be made available on August 15 once the program goes into effect.
When can immgrants apply?
Qualified immigrants may apply for deferred action by submitting a form no earlier then August 15th. Immigrants who are currently in detention must first contact their detention officer or the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of the Public Advocate at (888) 351-4024.
What documents must be submitted with the application forms?
The typical application will require financial records, medical reports, school transcripts, GED certificates if applicable, employment records and military records to show eligibility. Affidavits are generally not be sufficient to show eligibility, unless they are being used to show that the applicant has been continually present in the United States since June 15, 2007.
Will information be kept confidential?
Information provided in the application, including information relating to applicants’ family members or legal guardians, will not be used for immigration enforcement proceedings according to DHS (Department of Homeland Security), unless the applicant meets the existing criteria for referral to ICE or issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court.
Will applicants who are denied deferred action be put into removal proceedings?
DHS has stated that the administration will follow existing policies regarding initiating removal proceedings for those denied benefits for which they affirmatively applied. Under the November 2011 memo, immigrants will only be placed in removal proceedings if they:
  • commit fraud during the application process;
  • have been convicted of an offense making them removable from the United States; OR
  • have been arrested for an “egregious public safety” criminal offense; or pose a threat to national security or are under investigation.
Will deferred action recipients be permitted to travel outside the country?
 If applicants wish to travel outside of the United States they must first apply for and receive “advance parole.” Advance parole is typically only granted for travel relating to humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes. By departing the country, however, immigrants who were previously unlawfully present in the United States for more than six months after their eighteenth birthday could face legal obstacles re-entering the country or applying for a green card in the future.
What types of criminal convictions will make applicants ineligible ?
  • felonies: defined as any crime punishable by more than one year in prison,
  • “significant” misdemeanors (see below), OR
  • 3 or more other misdemeanors were sentencing was for more than five days in jail, not including minor traffic offenses. Convictions for immigration-related offenses classified as felonies or misdemeanors by state laws (e.g. Arizona SB 1070) will not be considered.
What is a “significant” misdemeanor?
Any misdemeanor, involving burglary, domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, unlawful possession of firearms, driving under the influence, or drug distribution or trafficking. In addition, any other misdemeanor for which an applicant was sentenced to more than 90 days in jail. This is not including suspended sentences and time held pursuant to an immigration detainer.

For more information see the USCIS official FAQ page. 

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