United States: Qualifying Young Persons May Begin Applying for Deportation Relief Today
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has began accepting applications for deferred action from eligible young persons without lawful immigration status. Deferred action allows the government to exercise its discretion not to seek the removal (“deportation”) of eligible applicants from the United States.
Those granted deferred action will be able to remain in the United States for a renewable period of two years and can seek permission to work. However, deferred action does not grant any temporary or permanent immigration status. Nor does the policy provide them a path to permanent residence.
Eligibility for Deferred Action
Applicants for deferred action must be 30 years old or younger and have come to the United States before age 16. They must have resided in the United States for a continuous period of at least five years as of June 15, 2012 and been present in the United States on June 15, 2012. Applicants must demonstrate that they are currently in school, have graduated from high school or obtained a GED certificate, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces. They must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and must not otherwise pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety.
To apply for deferred action, applicants complete USCIS Form I-821D, as well as a Form I-765 application for employment authorization and Form I-765WS worksheet showing that they have an economic need to work. Applicants file the forms, along with documentation of their eligibility for deferred action, at the agency lockbox facility with jurisdiction over their place of residence. The filing fee for deferred action applications is $465.
After the application package is filed, applicants will be required to appear at a USCIS Application Support Center for biometrics collection. Some applicants may be required to attend an in-person interview as part of the adjudication process. Agency officials have indicated that it will take several months to process and adjudicate deferred action applications.
Fragomen is closely following implementation of deferred action and will provide further information for employers and foreign nationals. Meanwhile, foreign nationals with any questions about deferred action should contact an immigration attorney.