Understanding Guidelines for Deferred Action in Immigration Cases


On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that certain people may request a deferral of an immigration removal action for up to two years, if they came to the U.S. as children (under the age 16) and meet other requirements. Known as “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA, this process gives many people who came to the U.S. as children the chance to continue working while they await a pathway to permanent residency in the United States.

A person may seek consideration of deferred action for childhood arrival if the person:

  • Was younger than 31 years old as of June 15, 2012,
  • Came to the U.S. before his or her 16th birthday,
  • Has lived in the U.S. continuously from June 15, 2007 until today,(*May still be eligible if had an absence out of US after that date, but it was brief and innocent)
  • Was in the U.S. on June 15, 2012,
  • Is in the U.S. on the date he or she requests consideration of deferred action,
  • Either entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had his or her lawful immigration status expire by June 15, 2012,
  • Is in school, has graduated from high school, has received a certificate of completion of high school, has a GED, or is enrolled in a program to earn their GED, or has been honorably discharged from any branch of the U.S. armed forces,
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors (DWI conviction will disqualify), and
  • Does not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

These applicants will be able to continue to renew these Work permits every 2 years (as long as they aren’t disqualified by a conviction or by abandoning the U.S.) until the then sitting President decides he no longer wishes to renew the program or until Immigration Reform happens. (It is the personal opinion of this office that no President would ever eliminate this program as it currently exists).

Experienced Austin immigration attorneys at Peek and Toland, L.L.P. have helped many Texas individuals and families resolve immigration issues so they can stay lawfully in the United States. Contact us today to learn more.

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