Do I Qualify?

Deferred Action Attorneys | Relief for Dreamers and DREAM Act Lawyers

Who is eligible to receive deferred action?
In order to be eligible for deferred action, an individual must:

  1. Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and are present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
  3. Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Not be above the age of thirty on June 15, 2012.

Some of these standards are still not fully defined and others may be more flexible or strict than they appear. For example, recent DHS guidance indicates that “multiple misdemeanors” means “three or more other misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct.”

However, DHS has stated that individuals who are found to be ineligible due to criminal history or because they represent a danger to the community may be subject to removal or other immigration enforcement action.

If you have specific questions about your case, especially if you have any criminal history, it is important that you consult with a qualified immigration attorney. Start by completing the form on our website or calling the toll-free number above and sign up for one of our free information sessions.

What is a “significant” misdemeanor?
Directly from the DHS guidance: “For the purposes of this process, a significant misdemeanor is a misdemeanor as defined by federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is one year or less but greater than five days) and that meets the following criteria:

  1. Regardless of the sentence imposed, is an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; or,
  2. If not an offense listed above, is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. The sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence.”

What if I have a final order of removal?
Individuals may request deferred action if they meet the eligibility criteria regardless of whether they have a final order of removal. The DHS Memorandum outlining the new policy specifically provides for deferred action grants to those who have previously been ordered removed. Do not engage in this process without careful consultation with a qualified legal professional who can adequately consult you on the risks and benefits of the process

What if I did not finish school?
The DHS policy requires that qualified non-military applicants be “in school” or have a high school diploma or GED.  There is not yet clarity on what type of education or training constitutes “in school” but at least some ICE officials are taking the position that GED classes do not qualify. Therefore, at this time we are encouraging our clients, to obtain their GED prior to applying for deferred action until we can confirm that simple enrollment in GED classes will satisfy the education standard.

Will I be able to travel if I am granted deferred action?
DHS guidance: “Not automatically. If USCIS has decided to defer action in your case and you want to travel outside the United States, you must apply for advance parole by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and paying the applicable fee ($360). USCIS will determine whether your purpose for international travel is justifiable based on the circumstances you describe in your request. Generally, USCIS will only grant advance parole if you are traveling for humanitarian purposes, educational purposes, or employment purposes. You may not apply for advance parole unless and until USCIS defers action in your case pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process. You cannot apply for advance parole at the same time as you submit your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. All advance parole requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.”


Do I qualify?

Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Brian MurrayHeadquartered in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., our immigration law firm represents individuals across the country. In particular, we represent individuals seeking relief from deportation and those seeking long-term immigrant status or citizenship.
Call (888) 280-0810 or (703) 352-2650 for more information.

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Fairfax, VA 22030
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