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Review of DHS’s Deferred Action Changes & Clarifications

This post summarizes the clarifications, changes, and additions that DHS announced on August 3rd, 2012 regarding the administration’s deferred action policy. The full DHS guidelines are located: www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals

This guide may be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here: DBA Review of Aug 3rd DHS Guidelines.


A. Age. Eligible individuals must have been under the age of 31 on June 15th, 2012, e.g. if an individual was 30 years and 364 days on June 15th, 2012, then they are eligible.

B. Education. Even if individuals did not meet the educational requirements on the date of the memorandum, June 15th, 2012, as long as they meet the requirements (e.g. in school, a GED program, have a high school diploma, or GED) on the date they submit their materials, they will be eligible.

C. Departure. Departure from the United States after June 15th, 2012 (and before an individual receives deferred action and advance parole) results in an individual being automatically ineligible for this policy.


A. Significant Misdemeanors.

 Removal of certain offenses. The following offenses are no longer listed as significant misdemeanors: (a) larceny; (b) fraud; (c) obstruction of justice; (d) bribery; (e) unlawful flight from arrest, prosecution or the scene of the accident; and (f) unlawful possession of drugs (but not drug distribution or trafficking).
 Addition of offenses based on time. Significant misdemeanors now include any offense for which an individual is sentenced to more than 90 days of incarceration, not including time spent incarcerated due to an ICE hold.

B. Non-significant misdemeanors.

 Traffic offenses. Minor traffic offenses such as driving without a license, will not count toward the two misdemeanor limit.
 Expunged and juveniles convictions. Expunged and juvenile convictions will not necessarily disqualify applicants for deferred action.
 Immigration offenses. Immigration-related offenses, e.g. immigration felonies or misdemeanors created by state laws like SB 1070, will not be treated as disqualifying felonies or misdemeanors.


A. Joint Application. Individuals will apply for deferred action and employment authorization at the same time.

B. Filing Fee. Total filing fee will be $465 for deferred action, employment authorization, and biometrics.

C. Fee Waivers. There will be no fee waivers for this process, only fee exemptions. Exemptions are only available in very narrow circumstances.

D. Use of Affidavits. Affidavits can only be used to demonstrate a gap in the documentation demonstrating that you meet the five year continuous residence requirement; and a shortcoming in documentation with respect to the brief, casual and innocent departures during the five years of required continuous presence. Affidavits cannot be used to prove eligibility for any other requirement.

E. Online Tracking. Individuals will be able to track their application online on the USCIS website.


A. Travel. Individuals with deferred action will be able to travel outside the country for humanitarian, education, or employment reasons as long as they apply and receive advance parole.



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