The Department of Homeland Security set a 60-day deadline after the June 15 announcement for having the application process up and running. DHS Secretary has announced that the department should meet that deadline and begin accepting applications by August 15.
You do not need to already have your diploma before you apply. If you are still enrolled in high school, you already qualify for deferred action, assuming you meet the other requirements.
DHS has announced that anyone who had not yet turned 31 on June 15 will be eligible. In other words, anyone born after June 15, 1981, should be able to apply. DHS has not yet announced what will happen when youths with deferred action will be able to renew the deferred action after they turn 31.
Marital status is not a factor for eligibility. However, if you are married to a US citizen or green card holder, you may want to consult with a lawyer or legal worker to see whether you qualify for a green card through marriage.
If have already have identification documents, such as a school ID or valid passport, you should not need to get any additional types of ID documents.
You should be able to go to your local courthouse and ask the court clerk to run your record based on your name and date of birth. You should get such records for any county in which you have lived since arriving in the US. You can also request a printout from the FBI of your criminal record based on fingerprints; for more information, please go to http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks. Catholic Charities offers a criminal background check for $18 – you can call 312.427.7028.
So long as you meet the other requirements, how you entered the US should make no difference to whether you qualify. If, however, you were caught trying to enter the US, you should consult with an attorney or BIA-recognized agency before you apply.
If you have never been convicted of any crime related to use of a false social security number, you should still qualify.
In Illinois, driving without a license is in most cases a petty offense that should not count against getting deferred action. In some cases, however, driving without a license can be a misdemeanor. You should review your driving record with an attorney or BIA-recognized agency before you proceed.
You should consult with an attorney or BIA-recognized agency before you apply. Please note that any conviction could still affect your immigration status even after it is expunged.
If you have a previous deportation on your record, or any other interaction with ICE, you should consult with an attorney or BIA-recognized agency.
Pursuant to the Secretary’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals, you must submit evidence, including support documents, showing that you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- 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;
- 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.
- If you have never been in removal proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated before your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.
- If you are in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and are not in immigration detention, you can request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals even if you are under the age of 15 at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.
- In all instances, you cannot be the age of 31 or older as of June 15, 2012 to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Does “currently in school” refer to the date on which the request for consideration of deferred action is filed?
To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit a request for consideration of deferred action under this process.
If my case is deferred pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process, will I be able to travel outside of the United States?
Not automatically. If USCIS has decided to defer action in your case and you want to travel outside the United States, you must apply for advance parole by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and paying the applicable fee ($360). USCIS will determine whether your purpose for international travel is justifiable based on the circumstances you describe in your request. Generally, USCIS will only grant advance parole if you are traveling for humanitarian purposes, educational purposes, or employment purposes. You may not apply for advance parole unless and until USCIS defers action in your case pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process. You cannot apply for advance parole at the same time as you submit your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. All advance parole requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If I have a conviction for a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanors, can I receive an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this new process?
No. If you have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or three or more other misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct, you will not be considered for deferred action under the new process except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.
A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
For the purposes of this process, a significant misdemeanor is a misdemeanor as defined by federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is one year or less but greater than five days) and that meets the following criteria:
- 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.
For purposes of this process, a non-significant misdemeanor is any misdemeanor as defined by federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is one year or less but greater than five days) and that meets the following criteria:
- Is not 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; and
- Is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less.
If I have a minor traffic offense, such as driving without a license, will it be considered a non-significant misdemeanor that counts towards the “three or more non-significant misdemeanors” making me unable to receive consideration for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this new process?
A minor traffic offense will not be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of this process. However, your entire offense history can be considered along with other facts to determine whether, under the totality of the circumstances, you warrant an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. It is important to emphasize that driving under the influence is a significant misdemeanor regardless of the sentence imposed.
Will offenses criminalized as felonies or misdemeanors by state immigration laws be considered felonies or misdemeanors for purpose of this process?
No. Immigration-related offenses characterized as felonies or misdemeanors by state immigration laws will not be treated as disqualifying felonies or misdemeanors for the purpose of considering a request for consideration of deferred action pursuant to this process.
If the background check or other information uncovered during the review of your request for deferred action indicates that your presence in the United States threatens public safety or national security, you will not be able to receive consideration for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances. Indicators that you pose such a threat include, but are not limited to, gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the United States.
Can I request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals under this process if I am currently in a nonimmigrant status (e.g. F-1, E-2, H-4) or have Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
No. You can only request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals under this process if you currently have no immigration status and were not in any lawful status on June 15, 2012.
Will USCIS conduct a background check when reviewing my request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
Yes. You must undergo biographic and biometric background checks before USCIS will consider whether to exercise prosecutorial discretion under the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process. If you have been convicted of any 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 national security or public safety, you will not be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.
According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service will accept late registrations but not after a man has reached age 26. See http://www.sss.gov for more information.
No. However, under limited circumstances, individuals with more than $25,000 in medical debt and who are also under 18 years of age and their income is under 150% of the federal poverty guidelines may qualify for a fee waiver of the fees for deferred action.
You will need to obtain the certified dispositions and have a lawyer review them before you apply. Individuals who apply and are not eligible, are at risk of being referred to removal proceedings.
Is it possible for DHS to adjust their guidelines as time passes, especially for a DUI being considered a significant misdemeanor instead maybe looking into what kind of DUI it was?
I would not recommend that a person with a DUI apply for deferred action. The Department of Homeland Security has been very clear, that a single DUI is a significant misdemeanor and will make a person ineligible (and in my opinion, is very likely to be placed in removal proceedings)
I meet all the guidelines except that when I was detained by border patrol crossing the border then sent back. Will that affect my application?
You are probably still eligible for deferred action, so long as you were returned before June 15, 2007. You need to show that you have 5 years of continuous residence in the U.S. and if you were deported in those five years you will not be able to show continuous residence. However, if you were 13, you may not have been deported, but only returned. Without reviewing your record, it is not going to be possible to advice you. I recommend that you obtain legal representation if you decide to apply for deferred action.
In the past I have used someone else\'s Social Security number to work. Will this affect my eligibility?
If you meet all of the other requirements for deferred action, working with another social security number should not make you ineligible. Please visit dreamerjustice.org to help you determine if you are eligible. You can also find legal resources in your area at immigrantjustice.org/dreamers.
Is it problematic if the person that\'s applying is getting married? Will that interfere with something? I\'m looking forward for your help.
Marriage should not disqualify you or cause eligibility problems when applying for deferred action.