What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Deferred Action?

According to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process, certain young undocumented immigrants will be granted a temporary reprieve from being deported from the United States. Such undocumented immigrants, who are often referred to as DREAMers, who wish to remain in the United States have to file Form I-821D, to request deferred action. This deferral will be valid for two years and is subject to renewal. Various supporting documents must be provided and this process also includes background checks.

This process that permits the DREAMers to reside in the United States and work here for a period of two years, does not grant them any legal status. Such undocumented immigrants may not become permanent residents unless the DREAM Act is passed. An individual who is eligible for deferred action will also get employment authorization and may be eligible to get a driver’s license.

Eligibility Requirements to Request Deferred Action

Six major requirements must be satisfied by an undocumented immigrant to request deferred action.

• File Forms I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS, to request deferred action only if you are between 16 and 31 years of age.
• Continuous residence requirement must be satisfied and you must not have left the United States for a long period of time within the past five years. You must have resided within the United States continuously starting from June 15, 2007.
• If you were outside the United States on June 15, 2012, you may not be qualified to request deferred action.
• Three categories of undocumented immigrants qualify for deferred action. File an application to request deferred action, if you are presently in school, if you have a high school completion certificate, or a GED certificate, or if you are a veteran who was honorably discharged from the US Armed forces or the US Coast Guard.
• An application filed by a criminal or a person who seems to threaten the country’s security may not be considered and hence you must be a person with good moral character.
• You must have entered the country prior to your sixteenth birthday.

In addition, you must send your application, along with the documentation that will establish that you meet the key criteria for deferred action. You will have to go for a biometrics appointment, undergo background security checks and submit additional documents, if required by the USCIS.

Fill out Forms I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, I-765, Employment Authorization Document, and I-765WS, Worksheet, sign them, attach the supporting documentation and mail the package with the appropriate filing fee of $465 to the USCIS Lockbox address that can be found on the filing instructions that come with Form I-821D.