As I blogged earlier in June, the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would not pursue deportation of certain young immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children, and that qualifying immigrants could be eligible for work authorization. The big announcement, however, raised more questions than providing answers, among them — how does one apply for this exercise of prosecutorial discretion?
That question has now been answered. As we know, the application process opens on August 15, 2012. No applications will be processed prior to that date. To ensure that, the USCIS will not even make the application forms (including the employment authorization form) available online until August 15, 2012. The total fees are projected to be $465. Some very limited fee exemptions may be available to those who qualify.
Who is eligible? You must prove that you are eligible for deferred action if you can submit documentary evidence that 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 certificate (GED), 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.
Those who are currently in removal proceedings will utilize the same process and forms through the USCIS as all others who wish to apply for deferred action.
Next week, I will blog to answer frequently asked questions about eligibility for deferred action. In the meantime, be aware of potential schemes regarding deferred action. The process does not begin until August 15, 2012. That means that absolutely NO ONE can get you expedited consideration for deferred action — the process begins on August 15, 2012 when the USCIS application goes live.
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Salt Lake City, UT 84111