In June, the President and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, and who meet several criteria will be considered for deferred action and could be eligible to apply for employment authorization.
First, deferred action does not lead to a green card or citizenship, and it is when DHS agrees not to place an individual in removal or deportation proceedings or will not execute an order of removal. The administration stated the status would be given for a period of 2 years subject to renewal on a case by case basis. Those who can prove economic necessity can also obtain a work permit. The requirements to be eligible to apply for this status are:
The applicant entered the United States under the age of 16,
- The applicant has continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years preceding June 15, 2012 and are in the U.S. on June 15, 2012,
- The applicant is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has a GED, or has been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces,
- The applicant has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety, and
- The applicant is not above the age of 30 on June 15, 2012
Only those who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet all 5 criteria above will be eligible to apply. Each case will be decided on a case by case basis and the status will be given on a discretionary basis. The forms will be released along with more information (fees, deadlines, etc.) within 60 days. However, anyone who needs more information on this policy should call our office at 281-340-2074. If after consultation with a qualified attorney, you decide to file for this status, you can begin to collect the documentation and when the window opens to file, you should be one of the first to file since there are estimates of over 1 million people who may qualify for this status.
Note, this status is not for everyone and family members who do not qualify on their own get no benefit from this policy. And, if you do not meet all 5 requirements, fraudulent documentation should not be used as you may put yourself in a high priority category with a risk of deportation.
Applications will be sent to a lockbox facility in Chicago or Phonenix and the regional service centers will process the applications. The case will forwarded to local offices if an interview is necessary (probably if there is criminal issues).
The fee for the work permit and fingerprints is $465. The deferred action application and the work permit application can be filed together and the work permit will be approved right after the deferred action application is approved. As of the writing of this article, the window to file and the application release date is August 15th.
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.
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. 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 a person is eligible they should visit with an attorney to discuss the benefits and the risk involved and if wanting to apply, there is some documentation that should be collected as soon as possible.
For more information on this policy, please schedule an appointment at 281-340-2074.