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DACA

What is a Deferred action?

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status.

It is a discretionary grant of relief by DHS and can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings. Individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are in the U.S. under color of law. However, there is no direct path from deferred action to lawful permanent residence or to citizenship and it can be revoked at any time.

Persons who request consideration of deferred action must meet the following criteria;

1. Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;

2. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

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 request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their 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 (GED) certificate, 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.

* for better understanding of what would constitute felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, read the explanation provided towards the end.

Filing Process for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

1. Submit Forms I-821D, I-765, I-765WS along with the total fee of $465 ($380 fee plus $85 fee for biometric services).

2. Forms must be mailed to the USCIS Lockbox.

3. You cannot e-file your deferred action request for this process.

4. If you have questions call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283; do NOT visit a USCIS field office in person.

5. Write your name, date of birth, and mailing address exactly the same way on each form.

6. Failure to submit Forms I-821D, I-765, I-765WS and the $465 fee will result in your package being rejected.

7. Forms can be downloaded from USCIS website www.uscis.gov These can be filled out electronically, and then should be printed for submission.

8. Use black ink only. Do NOT use highlighters or red ink on your forms as they may make your materials undetectable when scanned.

9. Ensure that you are using the correct edition of the form. The correct, most current edition of every USCIS form is always available for FREE download on USCIS website www.uscis.gov.

10. Ensure that you provide all required supporting documentation and evidence.

11. Organize and label evidence by the guideline it meets.

12. Be sure to sign all of your forms.

13. Be sure that you mail all pages of the forms.

14. If you must change your form, we recommend that you begin with a new form, rather than trying to white out information, which can lead to scanning errors.

USCIS decision is not appealable

It is very important to note that if USCIS decides not to defer action in your case, you cannot appeal the decision or file a motion to reopen or reconsider. USCIS will not review its discretionary determinations.

Administrative Errors

You have the right to request a review of the application if you believe that your request was denied because of an administrative error. Examples of administrative errors include USCIS denying your request for deferred action because:

1 USCIS believes you abandoned your case by not responding to a Request for Evidence (RFE) and you claim that you did respond to the RFE within the prescribed time; or

2 USCIS mailed the RFE to the wrong address, even though you had submitted a Form AR-11, Change of Address, or changed your address online at www.uscis.gov before the issuance of the Request for Evidence.

It is thus of very significant importance that an experienced and knowledgeable immigration lawyer is retained to protect your interest as that can make all the difference in the world. At Bhagwati and Associates, P.L.L.C., it is our top most priority to protect our clients’ best interest by providing experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive representation, while making sure that each of our client gets the successful results and no client of ours is unjustly treated, deported or removed from the United States or is precluded from coming to the United states.

Travel Requirements and Restrictions

It is important to note that certain travel outside the United States may affect the continuous residence guideline. Travelling outside the U.S. before August 15, 2012 will not interrupt your continuous residence if the travel was “brief, casual, and innocent”. If you travel outside the United States after August 15, 2012 and before your request for deferred action is adjudicated, you will not be considered for deferred action under this process.

Deferred action will terminate automatically if you travel outside the United States without receiving advance parole from USCIS. If USCIS approves your request for deferred action, you may travel outside the United States only if you receive advance parole from USCIS before traveling.

In eligibility

If you have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or 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, or are otherwise deemed to pose a threat to national security or public safety, you will not be considered for deferred action under this process.

What do “significant misdemeanor”, “non-significant misdemeanor”, and “felony” under the law mean?

Significant misdemeanor

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:

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.

Non-significant misdemeanor

A crime is considered a non-significant misdemeanor (maximum term of imprisonment is one year or less but greater than five days) if it:

1. Is not 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; and

2. Is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less.

Felony

A felony is a federal, state or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Renewal of Deferred Action

Individuals whose case is deferred under this process will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a period of two years, unless terminated. You may request consideration for a two-year extension of deferred action through a process to be detailed in the future. As long as you were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, you may request a renewal even after turning 31. Your request for an extension will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Beware of Immigration Scams

Beware of dishonest practitioners who may promise to provide you with faster services if you pay them a fee. These people are trying to scam you and take your money. Visit Avoid Scams page to learn how you can protect yourself from immigration scams.

Make sure you seek information about consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from official government sources such as USCIS or the Department of Homeland Security. If you are seeking legal advice, choose a licensed attorney or accredited representative.

It is of significant importance that an experienced and knowledgeable immigration lawyer is retained to protect your interest as that can make all the difference in the world. At Bhagwati and Associates, P.L.L.C., it is our top most priority to protect our clients’ best interest by providing experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive representation, while making sure that each of our client gets the successful results and no client of ours is unjustly treated, deported or removed from the United States or is precluded from coming to the United states.

We welcome any feedback, questions or comments






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