Who's Eligible for Deferred Action? You Might Be!
Deferred action, or as it is more commonly known, The Dream Act is a program allowing certain qualified youth to be given temporary permission to stay in the U.S. Deferred action will be valid for two years at which time it may be renewed.
Even if you meet the requirements outlined below, Homeland Security will still decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether to grant you deferred action. A grant of deferred action is temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship. Individuals who receive deferred action may apply for and may obtain employment authorization.
So who qualifies and who is eligible…to be eligible for deferred action, you must:
• Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
• Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and up to the present time.
-A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence.
-The absence cannot be a result of a removal or deportation proceeding.
• Be present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for deferred action.
• Not have lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012.
-This means you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or,
-If you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired as of June 15, 2012.
• Be at least 15 years old.
-If you have never been in deportation proceedings or your proceedings were terminated.
-If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may request deferred action even if you are not yet 15 years old.
• Be 30 years old or younger as of June 15, 2012
• Be in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces.
-If you are enrolled in school on the date that you submit your deferred action application, that will be considered to “be in school.”
• Have not been convicted of a felony offense.
-A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
• Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses and not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
-Homeland Security is still defining what these terms mean but has indicated that they include:
• Gang membership
• Participation in criminal activities, or
• Participation in activities that threaten the U.S.
• Pass a background check.