Deferred Action - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The Obama Administration recently enacted a policy whereby certain individuals may receive deferred actions for a period of two years plus subject to renewal. Each case will be examined on a case by case basis. Although deferred action status does not confer "lawful" status, it allows individuals remain in the United States without being placed in deportation or removal proceedings. Further, those individuals will be eligible to receive employment authorization and possibly advance parole to allow travel outside the United States for a temporary period of time.

Deferred action allows individuals to receive a employment authorization card. In turn, this allows them to obtain a valid social security number and a driver's license card.

Deferred action is an form of administrative relief that allows non-citizens (including persons who illegally entered) to temporarily remain in the US. Unfortunately, deferred action does not provide a path to permanent resident status or US citizenship at this time. Deferred action is also available for those currently in removal or deportation proceedings. This covers persons who are both detained by ICE or those not detained.

If you are looking for affordable immigration attorneys to examine your deferred action eligibility and helped countless client received deferred action status, please call us today at 405.600.9910. Free consultation available.

On November 20, 2015, President Obama announced the new DACA program which relaxed some of the previous DACA requirements. Under the new DACA program, individuals will have to meet the following requirements:

The New DACA Requirements:

  1. 1. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010, up to the present time;
  3. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  4. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  5. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  6. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise post a threat to national security.

The new requirements only require DACA applicants to have physically present in the United States since January 1, 2010. The older requirement required applicants to be present since June 15, 2007. Compare the above requirements with the old DACA program below.

Previous (Older) Requirements for Deferred Action:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  2. Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen (16);
  3. Be at least the age of 15 years of age at the time of submitting application (unless you are removal proceedings)
  4. Have continuously resided in the United States since July 15, 2007 till present
  5. Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012
  6. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
  7. Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, OR have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, OR be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, OR “be in school” on the date that you submit your deferred action application.
  8. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

What is a Significant Misdemeanor and Criminal Consequences

The primary reason that many individuals are not eligible for DACA is for criminal convictions. Unfortunately, these include misdemeanor and felony convictions and even convictions that have been expunged. Any felony offense will be you ineligible to file for DACA as well as certain misdemeanors.

If you have been convicted of a "significant misdemeanor," you will not be eligible for the DACA program. Although there is no clear definition of a significant misdemeanor, USCIS has defined certain crimes as significant misdemeanors regardless of the sentence imposed. These crimes include: domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence. Further, even if the offense is not listed above, any crime for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days constitutes a significant misdemeanor.

Also please note that three (3) or more misdemeanors will also disqualify you under the DACA program. This includes minor offenses such as, disturbing the peace and public intoxication. If you have any questions or concerns about your eligibility, please call us at (405) 600-9910 to determine your eligibility.

Documents Accepted by USCIS to Prove Deferred Action Requirements:

  1. Financial records
  2. Medical records
  3. School records
  4. Employment records
  5. Vehicle Registration
  6. Date Bank Transactions
  7. Military records

Please be aware that if a deferred action is denied, you may be placed in deportation proceedings. We offer free initial consultations, so call us today at 405.600.9910 BEFORE applying for deferred action.