Contact Us Today! 757-422-8472

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals : Do I Qualify?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals : Do I Qualify?

Posted by Hugo Valverde | Aug 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals : Do I Qualify?

Beginning today, August 15, 2012, USCIS will begin to accept applications for deferred action.  Here are the official USCIS criteria for qualifying for deferred action under the administration's new program:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • 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
  • 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.

What surprised me is that in bullet #6 they say “have obtained” a GED, seeming to indicate that one must already have earned a GED before one can qualify.  However, in guidance USCIS states that “currently in school” means currently enrolled in:

  • a public or private elementary school, junior high or middle school, high school, or secondary school;
  • an education, literacy, or career training program (including vocational training) that is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment and where you are working toward such placement; or
  • an education program assisting students either in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under state law (including a certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or alternate award), or in passing a General Educational Development (GED) exam or other equivalent state-authorized exam.

USCIS seems to greatly expand the deferred action program through this intepretation, even though on its face it seems to contradict bullet #6, by allowing those enrolled in certain education programs, not only those that lead to a GED, to qualify.  Although, the qualification criteria appear simple on their face the terms used have legal meaning and consequences. Therefore, before anyone applies for deferred action they should consult with a qualified immigration attorney to see if it is in their best interest.  For a limited time, Valverde and Rowell is offering free consultations to potential deferred action candidates.

About the Author

Hugo Valverde

Hugo's passion for immigration law stems from his own family's immigration experience. His father and mother came to the United States from Peru fleeing political persecution, and as he grew up, Hugo spent many summers in Peru. Hugo uses his experience growing up in an immigrant family and time a...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment