Dreamer Deferred Action Overview

Dreamer Deferred Action Overview

Overview:  The Obama Administration was announced that the government will begin offering Deferred Action to “Dreamers” who meet certain requirements.  Dreamers are those individuals who entered the United States as minors.  Since the announcement is new, the requirements and procedure has not yet been fully explained.  Until more details are given,  many immigration lawyers suggest most possible applicants should wait to apply.  Many applicants, in fact, cannot yet apply.

If you think you are eligible, please speak with an immigration lawyer before submitting any applications.

What is Deferred Action?:  Deferred Action status conveys immigration status to qualifying individuals.  The status stops an individual from being deported from the United States and provides qualifying individuals with work authorization.  Deferred Action status does not provide a path to permanent residency.  Further, the status is only valid for two years (with the ability to renew).

General Requirements:  Not all of the requirements have been released by the government.  The following, however, are the general requirements:

  • Be 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16
  • Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012
  • Have maintained continuous residence
  • Have not been convicted of one serious crime or multiple minor crimes
  • Be currently enrolled in high school, graduated or have a GED, or have enlisted in the military

Process:  Two groups of individuals are eligible for Dreamer Deferred Action – those currently in Removal Proceedings (aka Deportation Proceedings) and those not in Removal Proceedings.

Those currently in removal proceedings can apply for Deferred Action through the Immigration Court Process.

Those not currently in removal proceedings do not yet have a formal procedure for applying.  It is expected that the government will announce the process in August.  Nothing should be submitted to the USCIS before the process is announced.

 Deferred Action Concerns:  Numerous concerns are presented by the Deferred Action program.  The following are just some:

  • There is no guarantee that the next administration will continue the program.
  • The program does not provide a path to permanent residency in the United States.
  • There is no indication yet of what will happen when someone ages out (turns 31).
  • What happens to family members who do not qualify?
  • What happens if a deferred action application is rejected?

Suggestions:  For the reasons above, many immigration lawyers suggest that would be applicants wait before applying.  Some immigration lawyers are suggesting using “extreme caution.”

All would-be applicants should  speak to an immigration attorney before submitting an application.

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