Pursuant to the Secretary of Homeland Security’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must:
- Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
- Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
- Not be above the age of thirty.
Individuals must also complete a background check and, for those individuals who make a request to USCIS and are not subject to a final order of removal, must be 15 years old or older.
Grants of deferred action will be issued in increments of two years. At the expiration of the two year period, the grant of deferred action can be renewed, pending a review of the individual case.
Deferred action is not “amnesty” because it does not grant adjustment of status. It only buys certain qualified individuals time. These individuals will still have to qualify to adjust status and become a legal permanent resident on the grounds already enumerated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The decision to apply for deferred action is a serious one. The analysis of whether you qualify and then apply can be complicated. Please contact me for any questions regarding deferred action and assistance if you feel you qualify and want to apply.