Deferred Action Summary

What is Deferred Action?

Deferred Action is a temporary measure that allows eligible immigrants to delay or defer removal action from the United States. Under this initiative, deferred action is granted for a two-year period, after which recipients may request a renewal. Under existing regulations, qualified applicants for deferred action may receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Deferred action is not amnesty or immunity, and does not grant lawful permanent resident status or a path to citizenship. 

Deferred Action Guidelines:

According to the USCIS, individuals who can demonstrate that they meet the guidelines listed on official government sources, such as the USCIS, or the Department of Homeland Security, may request consideration of the deferred action for childhood arrivals.  Guidelines include:

  • 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
  • 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

Supporting Evidence: When filing for Deferred Action, documentation will need to be provided that proves and supports the individual qualifies and meets the guidelines as stated above. Some examples of documentation that may be submitted as evidence includes:

  • Passport with admission stamp or passport entries
  • Travel Records
  • Birth Certificate
  • Financial records (Deeds, mortgages, rental agreement, bank transcripts, tax receipts)
  • Medical records,
  • School records from US schools attended (Transcripts, Report card etc)
  • School ID with photo
  • US government immigration or other documents with your name and photo
  • Employment records (pay stubs, W-2 forms etc.)
  • Military records
  • Military ID with Photo
  • U.S. high school Diploma or certificate of completion
  • U.S.  GED certificate
  • Social security card
  • Automobile License receipts or registration

Forms for application for deferred action:

Individuals may request deferred action by submitting the forms noted below, along with supporting documentation to USCIS. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published forms and instructions for the deferred action program, and began accepting applications on August 15th.  To request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS, you must submit the following to USIS:

  • Form I-821D (Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) The form must be completed properly and signed
  •  Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
  •  Form I-765WS, Worksheet, establishing your economic need for employment
  •  Filing fee to the USCIS $465 ( $85 background check, & $380 for EAD )
  •  Along with forms, submit all the required documentation to support your request

If you fail to submit all of the above, the USCIS will not consider your request for deferred action.  There are no fee waivers available for the deferred action for childhood arrivals process, and fee exemptions are available in very limited circumstances.  Also, if you knowingly make a misrepresentation or knowingly fail to disclose facts in your request for deferred action , you case may be treated as an immigration enforcement issue subject to criminal prosecution/ and or removal from the United States.

Application Considerations:

Individuals with extenuating circumstances, may, on a case-by-case basis, request deferred action from USCIS or ICE in certain circumstances. USCIS retains the ultimate discretion on whether deferred action is appropriate in any given case. USCIS will conduct a background check when reviewing a request for consideration for deferred action for childhood arrivals.  Potential applicants who are concerned about their individual circumstances such as the effect of a minor criminal record or other factors such as detention or appeals of removal cases can contact the Law Enforcement Support Center hotline: 1-855-448-6903 or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate hotline at 1-888-351-4024, or review their options with an immigration lawyer.

The USCIS recently cautioned in a press release, that immigration scams have already arisen regarding the deferred action for childhood arrivals process. For example: There is no expedited processing for deferred action. Practitioners should not be promising to provide faster services for a fee.  The agency warns young immigrants to be aware of the potential for being defrauded by unauthorized practitioners of immigration law and advises those who choose to seek legal assistance, to find a licensed attorney familiar with deferred action guidelines or utilize accredited immigration law services from reputable sources.

Requests and supporting documentation may not be submitted in person or online, but instead must be mailed to the USCIS “lockbox” assigned to the state in which the applicant resides.

Once USCIS receives and has determined all the necessary forms have been satisfactorily  completed , the required fee has been submitted along with and evidence and supporting documents, then USCIS will send the individual a receipt notice, followed by an appointment notice to visit an Application Support Center (ASC) to have individual fingerprints taken.  Make sure to read and follow the directions in the notice, as failure to attend the scheduled biometrics appointment may delay processing of your request, or may result in a denial of your request.

USCIS may request additional information or evidence, or request that the applicant appear in a USCIS office.  USCIS will notify you of its determination in writing.

Additional information may be obtained from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by calling (800) 375-5283 or visiting