Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
What is Deferred Action?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is the new policy by the USCIS in which the administration is determined to focus on those persons who pose a threat to national security and public safety instead of those persons here working hard and who came to the US as children. Deferred Action is not the Dream Act but it is a policy by USCIS to exercise discretion on who should be allowed to remain in this country with the potential to work with a work permit.
Deferred Action grants those eligible with the possibility of obtaining a work permit and other potential benefits.
Starting August 15, 2012 the USCIS will begin accepting these applications (Form 821-D, Form I-765, and Form I-765W). They have not indicated a deadline to file your application so it’s important to prepare your paperwork to be submitted. It’s even more important that you pay attention to detail. If you do not fill out the form properly and prepare your documents correctly, you could be rejected or ultimately deported.
Deferred action will entitle the applicant for protection for two years and if you received approval of your deferred action, a work permit. To be eligible, you must:
- Have come to the US before you were 16 years of age;
- Have not yet turned 31 by June 15, 2012;
- Must have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, and must have been present in the US on June 15, 2012;
- They must currently be in school, have received a high school diploma or GED, or been honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard;
- Must not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor,” multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. Anyone applying for deferred action would need to go through a criminal background check.
There will be many different ways that you can show eligibility in order to meet the above requirements. Specifically,
Proof you came to the US Before age 16:
- Passport with admission stamp
- Form I-94/I-95/I-94W
- School records from US schools
- Hospital records, religious records, and other “relevant documents” that we can use to establish coming to the US before Age 16
Proof of presence in the US on June 15, 2012:
- Rent receipts or utility bills
- Employment records (pay stubs, W-2 Forms, etc)
- School records (letters, report cards, etc)
- Military records (Form DD-214 or NGB Form 22)
- Official records from a religious entity confirming participation in a religious ceremony
- Copies of money order receipts for money sent in or out of the country
- Passport entries
- Birth certificates of children born in the U.S.
- Dated bank transactions
- Social Security card
- Automobile license receipts or registration
- Deeds, mortgages, rental agreement contracts
- Tax receipts, insurance policies
Proof of Identity:
- Birth certificate with photo identification
- School or military ID with photo
- Any U.S. government immigration or other document bearing your name and photo
What is considered a “Significant Misdemeanor”
A significant misdemeanor* is considered one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is one year or less but greater than five days AND
Regardless of the sentence imposed, is an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; or,
If not an offense listed above, is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. The sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence.
*(If you have been convicted of a crime, you should seek out the advice of a Deferred Action immigration attorney prior to filing your deferred action application. Failure to consult with an attorney could result in your deportation)
When Do I Get A Work Permit:
Form I-765 and I-765WS need to be completed along with the deferred action program. Those forms are the work permit application forms that need to be completed. The I-765WS is a worksheet that needs to be fully completed and submitted which shows the USCIS your financial situation and why you need a valid work permit. If you are granted deferred action and a work permit, in California you will be able to obtain a driver’s license.
Do I Obtain Legal Status with the Deferred Action approval:
You do NOT obtain legal status if your application is approved. You are given two years under the deferred action and you can apply for an extension of that after two years.
What do I have to do to show that I am currently in school?
Attendance at a vocational school will suffice. Also, ESL classes as a prerequisite to a GED will allow you to apply. There are many options and you must explore them with your immigration lawyer.
Los Angeles immigration lawyer, and Deferred Action lawyer, Michael S. Carrillo will provide answers and be able to tell you if you qualify. Additionally, we can prepare your paperwork for you to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
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