In our last blog, we provided an overview of the process of Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (LINK). As mentioned, the two-year deferment is available to those who came to the United States as children, have not committed serious criminal offenses and who meet certain guidelines. In this blog we will look at those guidelines.
For starters, there are several important dates to keep in mind. As of June 5, 2012, perspective deferment applicants must have been under the age of 31. They must also have come to the U.S. before their 16th birthday and must have resided in the country, continuously, from June 15, 2007, to the present time. To be considered, applicants must have entered without inspection prior to June 15, 2012 or have had their lawful status expire as of the same date.
There is also an educational component to the deferment process. In order to be considered, an applicant must be: currently enrolled in school; have completed their GED; or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard.
To be considered "currently in school," the applicant must be enrolled in school on the date he or she requests consideration for deferment action. Acceptable schools include public or private elementary school, junior high/middle school, high school or secondary school. For an education or career training program to be considered it must be a program designed either 1. To assist in completion of a high school diploma (or its equivalent), or in passing the GED (or its equivalent); or 2. For placement in postsecondary education, job training or other types of employment.
In addition, a successful candidate for deferment may not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three misdemeanors of any kind. They also cannot be judged to pose a threat to public safety or national security. Significant misdemeanors are defined by federal law as ones involving "domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence." In addition to those, any offense that results in custody of more than 90 days (not including suspended sentence) is considered a significant misdemeanor.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services requires evidence - "including supporting documents" - that proves the above guidelines have been met be submitted.
In the next blog we will take a close look at the kinds of documentation USCIS is looking for in order to demonstrate the guidelines have been met for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.