On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced that it would allow certain undocumented young people the opportunity to apply for a temporary status called DEFERRED ACTION.

With this status, applicants would be eligible to receive a work permit valid for two years.  The initial information indicates that people must meet the following requirements to become eligible for deferred action:

1) Came to the U.S. when they were under age 16;
2) Are between 15 and 30 years old;
2) Physically in the U.S. on June 15 and continuously present for 5 years as of June 15;
3) Be in school, graduated or have a GED, or have enlisted in the military;
4) No felonies, “significant” misdemeanors or multiple minor misdemeanors.


Right now, this is all the information that the attorneys at IIIC have to share.  Like you, we are waiting for USCIS to announce more information about the program.  It is therefore not necessary to consult with an immigration attorney at this time unless you have other questions that are not related to Deferred Action.  If you would like to place your name on a mailing list, we will be happy to contact you once we have more information.


As of today, the registration period for Deferred Action has not yet begun.  USCIS has said that they will announce further details, including the start of the registration period within the next few weeks.  Be careful of notaries and other non-lawyers in your community who tell you that you can file now!

President Obama announces deferred action for young immigrants

On June 15, President Obama announced that immigrants who came to the U.S. as children would be eligible for deferred action for two years, with the possibility of renewal.  (This group of people may have been eligible for the DREAM Act, which has not been passed into law).  Deferred action is a temporary immigration status that prevents undocumented immigrants from being deported during the period of time that it is in effect.  During that period of time, immigrants are eligible for work authorization.  Note that this new policy will not be in effect for approximately 60 days while U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services devise a plan for accepting applications.

In order to qualify for the status, the immigrant must have entered the U.S. prior to age 16, and have been under thirty-one years old on June 15, 2012.  She must have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012.  The immigrant must currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces.  Most criminal offenses will make her ineligible for deferred action.

Those who believe they meet this criteria should not affirmatively apply for deferred action now.   They should be very careful of notaries and other non-lawyers in the community who tell them that they can file now!  At this point we all are simply waiting for further guidance from USCIS.  Please contact the IIIC with any questions.