Immigration Quiz

Deferred Action Resource Center (Continued)

Application for Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals and Employment Authorization

To apply for deferred action and work authorization, you must:

Once USCIS receives and reviews the application, it will send you a receipt notice with further instructions.

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Eligibility for Deferred Action

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for relief:

  1. Be under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012
  2. Arrived in the U.S. before reaching their16th birthday
  3. Show continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 to the present
  4. Prove physical presence in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of filing
  5. Entered without inspection before, or lawful immigration status expiredon June 15, 2012
  6. Currently in school; graduated or obtained high school diploma, certificate of completion, General Education Development (GED) certificate, or honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and
  7. Not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, or pose a threat to national security or public safety

Deferred action applies to anyone who meets these requirements, including people who:

  • Have never been, were previously in, or are currently in removal proceedings
  • Received a final order of removal or voluntary departure, but are not detained
  • If detained, may request deferred action by submitting application to USCIS

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Immigration Status and UP While Application is Pending: Age Exception

While U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS) decides your case, you continue to accrue UP and have no legal status. Even if your case is granted, deferred action neither confers permanent status nor guarantees a path to U.S. citizenship. It does, however, temporarily stop the initiation of removal proceedings and the accrual of. The only exception to this rule is for applicants who are under 18 at the time of filing. If you are younger than 18 when you file the application and turn 18 while the application is pending, you do not accrue UP while the application is pending.

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Age Requirements for Filing, Assuming You Meet Other Criteria
  • If you have never been in removal proceedings or proceedings were terminated before you applied for deferred action, you must be at least 15 or older at the time of filing.
  • If you are in removal proceedings, have a final removal or voluntary departure order, and are not detained, you can request relief, even if you are under 15 at the time of filing.
  • In all cases, you cannot be 31 or older as of June 15, 2012

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Definition of “Currently in School”

To be “currently in school” means to be enrolled in any of the following at the time of filing:

  • A public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school, junior high, or high school;
  • An ducation program assisting students to obtain high school diploma, certificate of completion, GED, or a recognized equivalent under state law; or
  • An education, literacy, career or vocational training program that works toward, or leads to placement in post-secondary education, job training, or employment.
    • Includes state or federally-funded programs and other programs administered by institutions of higher education, community colleges, and certain organizations
    • Programs not funded by federal or state grants are assessed by “demonstrated effectiveness” in helping students obtain relevant education or job placement

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How to establish “currently in school” requirement

Documentation showing current enrollment in a qualifying school or program may include:

  • Transcripts, report cards, progress reports
  • Acceptance letters, school registration cards
  • Correspondence from school registrar or administration
  • Other evidence containing name of school or program, dates of enrollment, grade level
  • High school diploma or certificate of completion
  • GED certificate or recognized equivalent
  • Certificate of attendance or alternate award
  • Other evidence of graduation or passing GED

USCIS requires documentary—not circumstantial—evidence. Any affidavits must be corroborated by other direct evidence.

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