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What is Deferred Action? What is Not?

As of June 15, 2012, certain young people brought to the United States as children are eligible to request deferred action. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is developing a process for these young people to request deferred action and will implement the process sometime in August 2012.

Deferred action is:

  • a decision made at the Department of Homeland Security’s discretion that they will not pursue enforcement against an individual for a certain period of time;
  • considered a period of stay authorized by DHS, therefore, unlawful presence will not accrue during this period.

Deferred action does not:

  • confer lawful immigration status;
  • alter an individual’s existing immigration status;
  • cure any prior period of unauthorized presence;
  • allow an individual to establish eligibility for any immigration benefit that requires maintenance of lawful status.

Who Qualifies for Deferred Action?

Eligible individuals must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Have arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of 16;
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • Not have been convicted of a felony offense, a “significant misdemeanor offense,” or three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • Have been under thirty-one years old on June 15, 2012.