On August 15, 2012, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  USCIS is implementing this program in accordance with the directives of the Obama Administration in order to provide immigration relief to certain young persons who entered the United States before the age of 16 and who have completed or are in the process of completing high school or college in the United States.  USCIS will NOT accept any applications before August 15, 2012.  USCIS will be publishing an application form, and does intend to charge a filing fee ($465.00) for the application.   

Deferred Action is not a form of permanent resident status or citizenship, but rather a form of relief from the threat of removal.  Deferred Action will be granted on a two-year basis, and, if granted, the applicant will be eligible for work authorization, and may apply for travel permission.  A person who is eligible for Deferred Action can apply regardless of whether the person is currently in removal proceedings or has previously been ordered deported or removed.  A grant of Deferred Action is renewable every two years. 

USICS will consider Deferred Action for persons who meet ALL of the following criteria: (1) under age 31 as of June 15, 2012; (2) came to the U.S. before age 16; (3) continuous residence in the U.S. since at least June 15, 2007, up to the present date; (4) physical presence in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of the application for Deferred Action; (5) currently out of status (either entered without inspection, or status has expired as of June 15, 2012); (6) currently in high school, have graduated or obtained 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 U.S. Armed Forces; and, (7) have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor (including DUI), three or more other misdemeanors.       

Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding this new relief.