In 2012 the Department of Homeland Security stated that certain undocumented youth who came to the United States before turning 16 years old who meet several key requirements as outlined in this article, may apply for “deferred action” that is currently valid for a period of two years. It is important to note that deferred action does not provide an individual with any type of visa status or permanent resident status but at least it is a step in the right direction.
The key requirements that must be proven in order to qualify for this new deferred action program include the following:
- The first element of proof is to show that you entered the U.S. before your 16th birthday. Note that in general individuals who are under the age of 15 are not permitted to apply for deferred action unless they are in immigration court under removal proceedings or in limited other situations;
- An additional age restriction for deferred action applications requires that an applicant prove they were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- It is also necessary to show that you have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 up until now;
- Also, it must be shown that all applicants were physically in the U.S. on the date of your deferred action filing and also on June 15, 2012;
- This program was created to serve those who entered the U.S. without being inspected by an immigration officer or for those whose lawful visa status expired as of June 15, 2012. Therefore each applicant must fall into one of these two categories;
- Each applicant must also satisfy educational or military requirements including either being currently enrolled in school, proving graduation or having received a certificate for completion of high school, having obtained a GED, or in the alternative, having been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces;
- As the last requirement of this program, each applicant must evidence that they have no felony conviction, significant misdemeanor conviction, three or more less severe misdemeanors convictions, and that each individual who applies for deferred action is not a threat to national security or public safety in any way.
For additional information please feel free to post questions or comments and Attorney Hendrik Pretorius will respond.