Per Secretary Napolitano’s Memo of June 15, 2012

What is deferred action?
Deferred action is a determination to suspend or not pursue removal proceedings against an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not give residency or other lawful status to an applicant.

Who is eligible to receive deferred action?
To be eligible for deferred action, you must meet the following criteria:
1. You must have come to the USA while you were under the age of sixteen;
2. You must have resided in the USA continuously for at least the five years preceding the date of the
memo and have been present in the USA on the date of the memo;
3. You must currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the USA;
4. You must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
5. You must not have been over the age of thirty on the date of the memo.

Individuals must complete a background check and, for anyone not subject to a final order of removal, you must be 15 years of age or older.

Are individuals who receive deferred action allowed to receive work permits?
Yes, individuals who are granted deferred action may apply for employment authorization from USCIS provided they can demonstrate an economic necessity for it.

Does the process result in permanent residency (green card) for applicants?

Will applicants have to undergo background checks before they can receive deferred action?
Yes all individuals will undergo biographic and biometric background checks prior to receiving deferred action.

What do background checks involve?
Background checks involve checking biographic and biometric information given by the applicants
against several databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and other federal government agencies.

What documentation will be sufficient to show that an applicant came to the United States before the age of 16, resided in the USA for at least 5 years prior to June 15, 2012 and was present in the USA on June 15, 2012?
Documentation to demonstrate that an applicant came to the USA before the age of 16 includes, but is not limited to: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records.

What offenses qualify as a “significant misdemeanor”?
A significant misdemeanor is a federal, state, or local criminal offense that involves: violence, threats, or assault, including domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary, larceny, or fraud; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; obstruction of justice or bribery; unlawful flight from arrest, prosecution, or the scene of an accident; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or unlawful possession of drugs.

Can individuals appeal a denial by ICE or USCIS of their request for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under the new process?

If an applicant’s request for deferred action is denied, will he or she be placed in removal proceedings?
The understanding is that applicants will only be referred to ICE if they have a criminal conviction or there is a finding of fraud in their request. It is very important that you seek advice from an experienced immigration attorney so that you avoid ending up in removal proceedings.

Does deferred action provide applicants with a path to citizenship or permanent residency?

Make sure you schedule your free initial consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.  We will evaluate your situation and provide you with invaluable advice on whether you qualify for deferred action.  We will also make sure that, if you are eligible, you receive your work permit as quickly as possible.