Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12061552 (posted Mar. 29, 2013)"
On June 15, 2012, DHS Secretary Napolitano issued a memorandum announcing that DHS will offer deferred action for two years to certain young people who came to the U.S. as children and meet other eligibility criteria. Individuals who receive deferred action will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the U.S. for the duration of the grant. Individuals in removal proceedings, those with final orders or a voluntary departure order, and those who have never been in removal proceedings can affirmatively request deferred action from USCIS as long as they are not in immigration detention.
If you are currently in immigration detention, you can identify yourself to your detention officer or contact the ICE Office of the Public Advocate through the Office's hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday) or by email at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov. If you are facing imminent removal and believe you meet the criteria, contact the Law Enforcement Support Center's hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or contact the ICE Public Advocate using the above contact information.
Since the deferred action program went into effect, some states have issued statements denying certain state benefits, including drivers licenses, to the beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Criteria and Forms
Official Agency Memos, Announcements & Statistics
AILA Press Statements and Correspondence
Guidance for Practitioners
Issue Papers and Talking Points
According to USCIS FAQs, an individual who meets the following criteria may apply for deferred action (AILA Doc. No. 12080365):
- Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the U.S. before reaching his/her 16th birthday;
- Has continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Was physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of application to USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; and
- Has not been convicted of a felony, a "significant misdemeanor," three or more other misdemeanors, or does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
To request deferred action from USCIS, individuals must submit:
- I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (cannot be e-filed)
- I-765 WS, Worksheet
- Fee of $465 (unless qualify for fee exemption)