The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released an outline of how to apply for deferred action. Back on June 15, 2012, it was announced that people who came to the US as children and who qualified under specific criteria would potentially be eligible for deferred action. Today, DHS outlined the process for those in removal proceedings, with a final removal order or a voluntary departure order or those who wish to affirmatively request deferred action.

Beginning August 15, 2012 deferred action applicants will:

  • File a form requesting deferred action
  • File a form requesting employment authorization
  • Pay a filing fee of $465

*Deferred Action is not in effect until August 15, 2012 so do not attempt to file anything prior to that date.

Deferred Action is NOT for Everyone

If a person has already had contact with Immigration, deferred action is a welcomed option, but what about those who are not facing deportation orders or voluntary departure orders already? Those individuals will essentially be informing the government of their whereabouts and who they are. If you file for deferred action but do not get it, and it does not involve criminal offenses, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case should not be referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If your case does get referred, you may receive a notice to appear in front of a judge and removal proceedings may be initiated against you.

While the buzz around town is one of excitement and there is a lot of talk about “finally coming out of the shadows”, I would still be cautious. Unfortunately, this is not the DREAM Act and this is not a process everyone should attempt. The process comes with its very own risks and consequences.

Read more on deferred action on our blog or on our site.