Deferred action allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) to use prosecutorial discretion and not pursue removal of an unlawfully present individual for a certain period of time, usually for humanitarian or law enforcement purposes. Those granted deferred action are eligible to receive a work permit.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.
DACA Eligibility Guidelines
The guidelines below reflect the original DACA guidelines for applications. You are eligible to file for DACA if:
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- You came to the United States before turning 16 years of age;
- You have resided continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007;
- You had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- You are currently in school, have graduated or received a certificate of completion from high school, have received a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
If you have had encounters with the police, arrests, or have been charged with a crime, an immigration attorney can help determine whether your ability to apply for DACA will be affected. Schedule a consultation to discuss all your legal issues and whether you are eligible for deferred action.
You must be at least 15 years or older to request DACA, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order.
If you are in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and are not in immigration detention, you may be younger than 15 years old at the time you submit your request.
On June 5, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the process to allow individuals who previously were granted DACA, to renew their deferral for a period of an additional two years.
If your initial two-year grant of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) is expiring, you may request a renewal.
You may request a renewal if:
- You did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- You have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- You have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
When to Renew
You should submit your renewal request about 120 days (4 months) before your current period of deferred action will expire. If you submit your request more than 150 days (5 months) before your current period expires, USCIS may reject it and return it to you with instructions to resubmit it closer to the expiration date.