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“D.A. Day” 08/15/12: Deferred Action Ready For Launch | Update from Immigration Compliance Group

By:  Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have released a brochure, flyer, information on avoiding scams and hosted a teleconference regarding the launch date of the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Application effective August 15, 2012. USCIS has provided a wealth of detailed information in various forms to clarify the deferred action application procedures. The popular media format of the flyer will likely be the most effective educational tool used with those eligible for the program. The timeline format and accompanying info-graphics are matched with concise language that aid the reader’s understanding.

Below are some highlights of the latest updates to the application procedure shared by USCIS Director Mayorkas on Friday, August 3, 2012:

Requesting Deferred Action

The government filing fees will be $465 in total for the deferred action application, the employment authorization document and the biometrics/background check.

Director Mayorkas stated that the information provided to USCIS on a request for Deferred Action (DAC)A request is protected from disclosure to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings unless the requestor meets the criteria set forth in USCIS’s Notice to Appear guidance (  Individuals whose cases are deferred pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process will not be referred to ICE. The information may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than removal, including for assistance in the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense. The above information sharing policy covers family members and guardians, in addition to the requestor.

There is no reapplication or appeals process for a failed application.

Biographic and biometric background checks are required. Immigration crimes are not factored into criminal history.

At this time, extensions of the 2 year deferred action status will be available.

Unlawful presence status is put on hold once deferred action status is granted.

If denied, cases will only be referred to removal proceedings under exceptional circumstances.

Qualifying For Deferred Action

  • Individuals must not have current immigration status.
  • Individuals detained by USCIS may only request qualification through their detention officer.

What documents will be required? Financial, medical, school, employment, and military records sufficient to show both entry before age of 16, as well as residence for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012.  Affidavits alone will generally not be sufficient evidence, but may support a shortcoming in documentation regarding casual departures or continuous residence.  USCIS will not accept affidavits in support of meeting the below requirements.  You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. 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;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.  Driving under the influence is considered a significant misdemeanor.
  • Note:  *Circumstantial evidence will not be considered for age on June 15, 2012 or school/veteran status.
  • Travel prior to August 15, 2012 must be brief, casual, and innocent in nature.
  • If false or misrepresented information appears on the application, unlawful status is upgraded to enforcement priority, subject to immediate criminal prosecution and removal.
  • There is no expedited processing for deferred action.
  • Employment authorization requires demonstration of “an economic necessity for employment.”
  • Relatives are not covered under deferred action unless they independently qualify
  • TRAVEL:   Question – If my case is deferred pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process, will I be able to travel outside of the United States?  Not automatically. If USCIS has decided to defer action in your case and you want to travel outside the United States, you must apply for advance parole by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and paying the applicable fee ($360). USCIS will determine whether your purpose for international travel is justifiable based on the circumstances you describe in your request. Generally, USCIS will only grant advance parole if you are traveling for humanitarian purposes, educational purposes, or employment purposes. You may not apply for advance parole unless and until USCIS defers action in your case pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process. You cannot apply for advance parole at the same time as you submit your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. All advance parole requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Resources:  The USCIS “How do I Guide”  –  USCIS FAQs



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