Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DREAMers) Begin August 15, 2012

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet the criteria may apply for deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will officially begin accepting requests for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or more popularly known as, DREAMers) on August 15, 2012, and not any time before.

Deferred action is a discretionary determination to suspend deportation proceedings on an individual. Deferred action does not confer lawful status on an individual and does not excuse individuals of any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.

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

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. 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. 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.

As a public service, we have compiled a list of the specific documentary evidence that will be acceptable to the USCIS to support the application.

Arrival Requirement

The documents that may be accepted by USCIS to satisfy proof of arrival in the US includes, but is not limited to:

  • Financial records
  • Medical records
  • School records
  • Employment records
  • Military records

Residency Requirement

Individuals must have continuously resided in U.S. since June 15, 2007 to present (for five years).

  • A brief casual and/or innocent trip outside of the U.S. does not necessarily interrupt the continuous residence requirement, so long as the trip occurred before Aug 15, 2012.
  • Any travel outside the U.S. after August 15, 2012 will disqualify an individual.
  • Individuals applying for Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals who wish to travel outside the U.S. must apply for an Advance Parole after the Deferred Action request has been first made to USCIS.
  • Individuals must be physically present in U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time the request for Deferred Action is made to USCIS.

Education or Military Requirement

The documents that may be accepted by USCIS to satisfy this criterion includes, but is not limited to:

  • School diplomas
  • GED certificates
  • School transcripts
  • Report cards
  • Military documents such as report of separate forms, personnel or health records

Filing Procedures

USCIS indicated additional information will be released on August 15, 2012. In the meantime, here is information related to filing procedures:

  1. The request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will require the use of a form dedicated to this process (currently under review with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)).
  2. The request can be filed concurrently with an application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). In order to qualify for employment, individuals must “demonstrate economic necessity” for employment. Work authorization will be approved initially for two years and may be renewed but at an additional fee.
  3. The total all inclusive fee (includes Form I-765 as well) is $465.
  4. Fee waivers are not available but fee exemptions will be made on a discretionary basis if individuals can demonstrate certain criteria related to the U.S. Poverty Guidelines. Fee exemption requests will need to be made before an individual requests for Deferred Action but not before August 15, 2012.
  5. Biometrics and a background check will be conducted after a request is submitted to USCIS.
  6. Interviews of requesters will be made on a discretionary basis to address issues of potential fraud and for quality assurance purposes.

Individuals who have a separate application pending with USCIS, may make a separate request for Deferred Action if the benefit sought through the initial application has not already been granted.

In preparation for the August 15, 2012 filing start date, we at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo LLC, are accepting appointments to review if an individual is eligible for deferred action and review their supporting documentation. We will be able to provide advice in case there are eligibility or documentation issues. Please call (908) 858-0922 to make an appointment or email us at: info@lslawyers.com.