Home Immigration What is Deferred Action and do I qualify for this form of immigration relief?

What is Deferred Action and do I qualify for this form of immigration relief?

Published on November 13, 2012 by in Immigration

On June 15 2012, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced that certain people who immigrated to the United States as children and who comply with certain specific criteria may be eligible to receive “Deferred Action”. Although the Deferred Action program can help up to 1.7 million Immigrants, it is well short of the policies voiced in the proposed Dream Act, which has not yet been passed into law by Congress.

Deferred Action is a discretionary determination to defer Removal (also known as “Deportation”) proceedings against an Immigrant.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“CIS”) will review requests and make decisions on a case-by-case basis. While it does not provide lawful status or a pathway to legal permanent residence or citizenship, immigrants who are granted Deferred Action will not be removed (Deported) from the United States for a two-year period, which may or may not be renewed.  If granted, the person may also apply for authorization to work in the United States.

To qualify for Deferred Action, you must have (1) arrived in the United States before your 16th birthday, (2) resided continuously in the United States for the five (5) years before June 15, 2012, and (3) were present in the United States on that date, and (4) are currently in school or have graduated from High School or obtained a GED, or have served honorably in the United States Armed Forces or Coast Guard.   In addition, you must (1) NOT have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors, (2) NOT represent a threat to national security or public safety, and (3) NOT be over the age of 31.

Only those persons who can prove with verifiable documentary evidence that they meet these requirements are eligible for Deferred Action.  Further, by definition, the relief granted will last for only two years, subject to renewal.  Thus, the Immigrant will have to take subsequent action at the end of the two years in order to avoid Removal (Deportation) at that time.

The benefits of applying for the Deferred Action program are that it prevents Removal (Deportation), permits qualifying Immigrants to get a Work Permit, a Social Security Number and a Driver’s License.

The potential consequences of pursuing Deferred Action can be serious.  If the petition is denied, the immigrant can be apprehended by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),which may then Remove (Deport) the individual from the country at that time.  Even if granted, the immigrant could still face Removal (Deportation) if the initial two-year Deferred Action is not renewed.  Thus, we suggest that you contact a qualified attorney for more information before pursuing relief under the Deferred Action program.

For more information or to schedule your Free Consultation on Immigration in Salinas or Monterey, please call our office at (831) 753-2200, visit our website at www.AlliottsLaw.com, or e-mail Mr. Alliotts directly at Info@AlliottsLaw.com.

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