What guidelines must I meet to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals?
Pursuant to the Secretary’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals, you must submit evidence, including support documents, showing that you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- 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;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- 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;
- 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.
These guidelines must be met for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. USCIS retains the ultimate discretion on whether deferred action is appropriate in any given case.
How old must I be in order to be considered for deferred action under this process?
- If you have never been in removal proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated before your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.
- If you are in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and are not in immigration detention, you can request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals even if you are under the age of 15 at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.
- In all instances, you cannot be the age of 31 or older as of June 15, 2012 to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Does “currently in school” refer to the date on which the request for consideration of deferred action is filed?
To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit a request for consideration of deferred action under this process.
Do brief departures from the United States interrupt the continuous residence requirement?
A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence. If you were absent from the United States for any period of time, your absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was before August 15, 2012, and:
- The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence;
- The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal;
- The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings; and
- The purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside the United States were not contrary to law.
May I travel outside of the United States before USCIS has determined whether to defer action in my case?
No. After August 15, 2012, if you travel outside of the United States, you will not be considered for deferred action under this process. If USCIS defers action in your case, you will be permitted to travel outside of the United States only if you apply for and receive advance parole from USCIS.
Any travel outside of the United States that occurred before August 15, 2012, will be assessed by USCIS to determine whether the travel qualifies as brief, casual and innocent (see above).
Note: If you are in unlawful status and/or are currently in removal proceedings, and you leave the United States without a grant of advance parole, you will be deemed to have removed yourself and will be subject to any applicable grounds of inadmissibility if you seek to return.
If you are considering the DACA process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you and help you better understand the process and your eligibility.