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What is Deferred Action?

Deferred Action

The DREAM act has been the cause of great debate for many years. Since 2001, it has remained in Congress, introduced and reintroduced countless time. President Obama always supported the bill, but after it failed to pass in the Senate in 2010, advocacy groups began pressuring Obama, and he eventually took matters into his own hands. DREAMers were soon to find out that the DREAM act would still not become reality during Obama's first term. However, a new policy was enacted that would provide relief to thousands of young undocumented youth.

Through executive order, President Obama announced the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on June 15, 2012. It went into effect on August 15, 2012.

Deferred Action Policy

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals states that, "individuals will not be put into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a specific period of time." This specific period of time has been set at two years that may be renewed, which means recipients would have to reapply to continue receiving benefits.

One of the main benefits undocumented youth can get from Deferred Action is the opportunity to be allowed to work legally. Undocumented youth will be granted an employment authorization if they receive approval for Deferred Action. Another of the important benefits is that driver's licenses will be made available to them.

A policy like Deferred Action has not been seen before in U.S. history.

Deferred Action Eligibility

The program focuses on undocumented youth. Obama's administration sees no harm in providing some relief for young immigrants who did not make the choice of entering the country illegally. These eligibility stipulations were set forth:

  • A person must have entered the U.S. before he or she turned 16.
  • A person must be 15 or older but not older than 30 as of June 15, 2012.
  • A person must have entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or his or her lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012.
  • A person must have lived in the U.S. for at least five years before June 15, 2012 and must currently be living in the country.
  • A person must attend school, have graduated, have a GED or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces.
  • A person must never have been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanors.
  • A person must not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
  • A person must pass a background check and provide proper documents that assert the above requirements.

Deferred Action Documents

To prove identity and date of birth, a person must provide documents with sufficient personal data. Some examples of acceptable documents are foreign passports, foreign birth certificates and expired U.S. Visas.

To prove the entrance into the United States before the age of 16, a person must provide documents with dates. These can include a passport with a dated stamp, school records and travel tickets.

To prove presence in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and five year stay, a person must provide certain receipts and transactions. Rent agreements, bank transactions and money orders would be acceptable.

To prove education requirement, a person must provide documents that show achievement. A person can submit school transcripts, diplomas and GED certificate.

To prove military requirement, documents that show that a person have been honorably discharged must be provided. These must include Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or Form BGB Form 22, National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service.

Deferred Action Forms

There are three forms that must be filled out at the same time when applying for Deferred Action:

  • I-821D, Consideration for Childhood Arrivals Form
  • I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • I-765 WS, Worksheet
  • All forms must be signed, and a person has to make sure his or her name and date of birth information must be the same on each form. Only black ink can be used.

Deferred Action Biometric Screening

As a requirement, all Deferred Action applicants will have to attend a biometrics appointment at a USCIS office. A biometric screening is a standard procedure that collects height and weight measurements and blood chemistry data from a person.

Deferred Action Fees

The total fee for the Deferred Action application is of $465. This price includes a $380 fee for the form plus a $85 fee for biometric services.


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