This new policy will grant qualified immigrants relief from removal or prevent them from being placed in removal proceedings for a two-year period.  The relief will also include the opportunity to apply for employment authorization.  The grant of deferred action is a temporary status and will not grant permanent legal status to eligible immigrants.  

To qualify for deferred action an immigrant must:

  • have arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of sixteen;
  • have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • not have been convicted of a felony offense, a "significant misdemeanor offense," three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • not be over thirty years old on June 15, 2012

Immigrants who are about to be removed, in removal proceedings, or have final removal orders should apply with ICE for deferred action.  Those qualified individuals who are not in removal proceedings may affirmatively apply for relief with the USCIS.  USCIS will provide more information regarding the application process by mid-August 2012. 

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