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FAQs on Deferred Action


What is Deferred Action?
Deferred Action is a temporary protection against deportation for those who qualify.  If approved, a  person is eligible to remain in the US for a period of time.

Can the Deferred Action be considered as amnesty?
No, the Deferred Action is in no way amnesty. A person who is eligible for Deferred Action is only temporarily protected from deportation; he/she cannot file for permanent residency or naturalization.

Who is eligible for Deferred Action?
According to the June 15th  policy a person must meet these requirements to be eligible:
(1)      Have come to the U.S. under the age of 16; 
(2)    Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five (5) years preceding June 15, 2012, the date the announcement was made; 
(3)       Currently be in school, have graduated from a U.S. high school, have obtained a GED, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces; 
(4)      Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant public misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and 
(5)  Not be above the age of 30. 

How long will the Deferred Action last?
The  deferred action announced on June 15th will last for two (2) years, unless there is a change in policy. As long as the current policy is in place, people will be able to renew the deferred action and their work permits every two years as long as they still qualify. 

If someone is granted Deferred Action, will he/she be eligible to work in the U.S.?

Under existing regulations, those who are granted Deferred Action may qualify to apply for a work permit, although applicants may be required to show economic need.  Whenever Deferred Action is renewed, work permits must be renewed as well

If someone is granted Deferred Action, will he/she be able to obtain a driver’s licenses?

The decision of who does and does not qualify for a driver’s license is a state-by-state issue. It is possible that many states will allow those who have been granted Deferred Action to apply for and receive a driver’s license. 

Will qualifying individuals be eligible for in-state tuition for colleges and universities?
Similar to driver’s licenses, the issue of in-state tuition for colleges and universities varies from state to state. Several states already allow individuals living within their borders to pay in-state tuition regardless of their immigration status. Other states don’t allow it. 

Will applicants for Deferred Action be subject to background checks?
Yes. All applicants for Deferred Action will be subject to background checks. The checks will involve checking biographic and biometric information provided by the applicants against a variety of databases maintained by DHS and other government agencies. 

What can you do now to begin preparing to apply for Deferred Action?

First thing is to begin gathering any and all documentation that proves you qualify. Next seek legal help by retaining an attorney, and be sure to follow your attorney’s advice!  Do not listen to “word on the street” as that can get you in real trouble

Which documents will be enough to prove eligibility?

Diplomas, GED certificates, financial records, immigration records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records, photos and notarized affidavits from friends and family members should all help in establishing eligibility. 

Will dependents and immediate relatives of individuals receiving deferred action also be eligible?

Each applicant must qualify on their own. Applicants who are approved for deferred action may not extend their status to any relatives who do not qualify on their own. 

How do people already in deportation proceedings obtain Deferred Action?
ICE will announce the process for submitting a request to review their case. For individuals who are already in removal proceedings and have already been identified by ICE as meeting the eligibility requirements, ICE will begin offering deferred action immediately. 

Does this policy apply to those who are subject to a final order of removal?

Yes. If the individual is eligible for the policy, then he/she can apply for and receive Deferred Action even if subject to a final order of removal.

If a person is not in deportation proceedings, how will he/she go about getting Deferred

USCIS is establishing its policies and procedures for the filing of affirmative applications for Deferred Action. The public should know more within 60 days.

What will happen to someone if USCIS denies his/her application for deferred action?
The government may use the information from the application for deferred action to place that person in removal proceedings.

Where can people get more information?
For advice on your individual application for deferred action, you are advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

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