Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security would defer the removal of certain undocumented youth for two years. Eligible applicants would also receive employment authorization during the two year period.  The Department of Homeland Security began accepting applications on August 15, 2012. For more details concerning this program, click here.

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Have been born on or after June 16, 1981.
  • Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
  • Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
  • Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012
  • Not have lawful immigration status. To meet this requirement (1) 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; and (2) you must not have lawful immigration status at the time of your application.
  • Be at least 15 years old. 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.
  • Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, or “be in school” on the date that you submit your deferred action application. See below for more information about meeting the “be in school” requirement.
  • 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. Click here for more information about offenses that may disqualify you.
  • Not pose a threat to national security or public safety. (DHS 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.

Deferred action is only temporary, and does not lead to lawful permanent residence or U.S. citizenship.

If you think that you may qualify for this program, contact us.  We have successfully applied for this type of benefit and obtained approval for clients as quickly as 2 months.  It is very important that you discuss your case with a qualified attorney before applying.