DACA – Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action

Apply NOW for Deferred Action and Work Authorization aka DACA.

Do you qualify for deferred action for childhood arrivals?

You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if:

  1. You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Before reaching the age of 16 you entered the US;
  3. Since June 15, 2007 to the present date you have resided continuously in the US;
  4. On both on June 15, 2012 and the date you made your request for deferred action with USCIS you were physically present in the US;
  5. Had no lawful status as of June 15, 2012, OR your immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. You 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. You 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.

If you meet all of the above and want to get started on your case, contact us to speak to an experienced Immigration Attorney!

How We Can Help You Obtain Deferred Action & Work Authorization.

Lightman Law Firm exists to provide clients with accurate, trustworthy and speedy immigration advice and support. Let an experienced immigration lawyer at Lightman Law Firm streamline your immigration process, ease your stress, reduce complications, and ensure the proper filing of your application. Your future is too valuable to navigate the process on your own.

Our staff is always available to answer any questions you might have about the deferred action process. We believe the foundation to a good attorney-client relationship is communication and trust. We will do our best to make your immigration process as easy for you as possible.

Frequently asked questions about Deferred Action

The following is a list of FAQs on Deferred Action that we think will be helpful

What is deferred action for childhood arrivals?

Deferred action for childhood arrivals is a program implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whereby they agree not to initiate a removal action or proceedings against an individual in the United States illegally or, if a removal action or proceedings have already started, to defer (halt) the removal action or proceedings. In addition, the DHS is also granting individuals who apply for deferred action work authorization so that they can legally work in the United States. However, deferred action does not confer a lawful status upon an individual who receives it.

What is President Obama’s expansion of DACA and when will it take effect?

President Barack Obama issued executive orders concerning an expansion of DACA in 2014 which would have changed guidelines for DACA allowing more people to qualify, however, on February 16, 2015 there was a federal court injunction placed on the expansion. Therefore, guidelines concerning DACA remain those implemented in 2012. The Supreme Court is scheduled to make a final decision over the expansion of DACA later this summer.

How do I determine if I qualify for deferred action?

To determine if you qualify for deferred action, you must meet all requirements described at the top of this page.

How long will deferred action be granted?

Deferred action will be granted for a period of 2 years, subject to renewal.

What is the filing fee?

The filing fee for deferred action and work authorization is $465.00. It is non-refundable even if you are not granted deferred action.

Will I be subject to a background check and biometrics?

Yes, all applicants must undergo a background check and biometrics (fingerprinting and photograph). USCIS will check biographic and biometric info provided by the applicant against a variety of government databases.

Will I be able to work legally in the United States if I receive deferred action?

Yes. Although deferred action does not confer any lawful status on those who receive it, it will allow those applying to also apply for and receive work authorization, assuming their deferred action applications are approved. Work authorization will allow the individual to legally work in the United States.

Does unlawful presence continue to accrue if I have a pending request for deferred action for childhood arrivals?

Yes. You will continue to accrue unlawful presence in the United States while your request is pending. IF your request is denied, that accrued time will be counted as part of your total time in the United States. However, if you are under the age of 18 when you apply for deferred action, this time will not be counted, even if you turn 18 while your application is pending.

If your case is deferred, you will not accrue unlawful presence during the period of deferred action. Having action deferred on your case will not excuse previously accrued unlawful presence.

If I am granted deferred action, will I be able to adjust my status to that of a permanent resident or become a United States Citizen?

No. Deferred action will not lead to a green card or citizenship.

Can my relatives or children receive benefits based on my deferred action?

No. Only individuals who satisfy all of the guidelines will receive deferred action. Deferred action is in no way transferable. Since deferred action does not confer any lawful status, a person who receives deferred action cannot petition for their relatives.

Can ICE or CBP or another agency use the information I provide in my deferred action application against me in a deportation or removal scenario?

Only if you meet the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear (NTA) or a referral to ICE under the criteria set forth under the USCIS’s NTA guidelines (available at www.uscis.gov/NTA). Otherwise, your information will be protected from disclosure to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

However, USCIS has stated the following: “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. This policy, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.”

What do the guidelines mean by “currently in school”?

It means that you must be enrolled in school on the date you submitted your application to be considered for deferred action.

Do brief departures from the United States interrupt “continuous residency”?

No. A brief, casual, absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence, provided you returned to the United States before August 15, 2012 and:

  • The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence;
  • You didn’t leave the United States because of an order of deportation, removal or exclusion, order of voluntary departure or administrative grant of voluntary departure; and
  • The reason for your absence was not contrary to the laws of the United States or the nation you were visiting.

Can I leave the United States while my deferred action case is pending?

No. If you leave the United States at any time after August 15, 2012, you cannot be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals. Any travel before August 15, 2012 will be assessed by the USCIS to determine if it was within the guidelines.

What can a deferred action immigration lawyer do for you?

A deferred action lawyer can do the following for you: clarify options; determine if you’re eligible; explain the deferred action process in detail; explain whether or not you will face any risks in applying for deferred action; assist and guide you in collecting all necessary information for your application; prepare all applications and supporting materials to meet the highest standards of immigration law; submit your application, oversee the processing of your case, and communicate with USCIS if necessary; notify you of any issues or appointments; and ensure that your deferred action and work authorization is granted expeditiously. Finally, after engaging a deferred action immigration lawyer you will have an opportunity to clarify any questions regarding your status and options both during the process and after the process. We can’t speak for all immigration attorneys on this, but we can promise you that this is the level of service you will receive at Lightman Law Firm.

Please Contact Us to Learn How We Can Help You Secure Deferred Action & Work Authorization

FAQs on documents for deferred action

What documents can I use to show that I came to the United States before the age of 16?

You can use financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records or anything else with your name, date and location on it. Other items may also be considered.

What documents can I use to show that I have lived in the United States continuously since at least June 15, 2007?

You can use financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records or anything else with your name, date and location on it. Other items may also be considered.

What documents can I use to show that I was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012?

You can use financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records or anything else with your name, date and location on it. Other items may also be considered.

What documentation can I use to show that I am currently in school or have graduated high school or have obtained a GED?

You can use school records, diplomas, certificates of accomplishment/achievement/completion, report cards or school transcripts. Other items may also be considered.

What documentation can I use to show that I am an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces?

You can use report of separation forms, personnel records, military health records, or other documentation given to you by the military or veterans affairs that lists your discharge as honorable. Other items may also be considered.

Can I use affidavits as evidence that I meet the guidelines for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?

Affidavits are generally not accepted on their own if they are the only form of evidence. You may use affidavits to fill in gaps in your documentation of continuous residence or evidence the nature of brief departures from the United States during your residence. If you will be submitting affidavits in connection with the two previously mentioned items, you must submit two or more affidavits, sworn to or affirmed by people other than yourself, who have direct personal knowledge of the events and circumstances.

It should be noted that USCIS will not accept affidavits as evidence concerning your education, status as an honorably discharged veteran, physical presence on/since June 15, 2012, arrival in the United States prior to your 16th birthday, your current age, or your criminal history. If the only evidence you submit for any or all of these guidelines is an affidavit or affidavits, you will be issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) by the USCIS and asked to show more proof.

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