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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Deferred Action for Undocumented Childhood Arrivals

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain undocumented youth who meet key guidelines may apply for deferred action, allowing them to reside in the US without fear of deportation for a period of two years and would then be eligible for a work permit. On August 15, 2012, USCIS will begin accepting applications for deferred action. In order to be eligible, the individuals must show that they meet the following requirements:

1. You were born after June 15, 1981;
2. You arrived in the U.S. before age 16;
3. You have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 until the present;
4. You were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
5. You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
6. You are currently in school, graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces; 
7. You are at least 15 years old at the time of filing, never been in removal proceedings, or if your case was terminated before your request; and
8. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to public safety and national security; (you do not need to provide documentation indicating your record, however, if you have been convicted of such crimes, you may not be eligible for deferred action).

The questions and answers explained the in the article discuss the following:

• What is Deferred Action?
• What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?
• If my removal is deferred pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process, am I eligible for employment authorization?
• Does this process apply to me if I am currently in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order?
• Do I accrue unlawful presence if I have a pending request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
• If my case is deferred, am I in lawful status for the period of deferral?
• Does deferred action provide me with a path to permanent residence status or citizenship?
• Will my immediate relative or dependents be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals?
• Can I be considered for deferred action even if I do not meet the guidelines to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals?
• Will the information I share in my request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals be used for immigration enforcement purposes?
• Does this administration remain committed to comprehensive immigration reform?
• Is passage of the DREAM Act still necessary in light of the new process?
• What guidelines must I meet to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals?
• How old must I be in order to be considered for deferred action under this process?
• Does “currently in school” refer to the date on which the request for consideration of deferred action is filed? 
• Do brief departures from the US interrupt the continuous residence requirement?
• May I travel outside of the US before USCIS has determined whether to defer action in my case?
• If my case is deferred pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process, will I be able to travel outside of the US?
• If I have a conviction for a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanors, can I receive an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this new process?
• What offenses qualify as a felony?
• What offenses constitute a significant misdemeanor?
• What offenses constitute a non-significant misdemeanor?
• If I have a minor traffic offense, such as driving without a license, will it be considered a non-significant misdemeanor that counts towards the “three or more non-significant misdemeanors” making me unable to receive consideration for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this new process?
• Will offenses criminalized as felonies or misdemeanors by state immigration laws be considered felonies or misdemeanors for purpose of this process?
• Will DHS consider my expunged or juvenile conviction as an offense making me unable to receive an exercise of prosecutorial discretion?
• What qualifies as a national security or public safety threat?
• Can I request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals under this process if I am currently in a nonimmigrant status or have temporary Protected Status? 
• How do I request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
• Will USCIS conduct a background check when reviewing my request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
• What do background checks involve?
• If USCIS does not exercise deferred action in my case, will be placed in removal proceedings?
• Can I obtain a fee waiver or fee exemption for this process?
• Will there be supervisory review of decisions by USCIS under this process?
• Can I appeal USCIS’s determination?
• Can I extend the period of deferred action in my case?
• If my period of deferred action is extended, will I need to re-apply for an extension of my employment authorization?
• Will USCIS personnel responsible for reviewing requests for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this process receive special training?
• What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I came to the US before age 16?
• What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I have resided in the US for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012?
• What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I was physically present in the US as of June 15, 2012?
• What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I am currently in school, have graduated from high school, or have obtained a general education development certificate (GED)?
• What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I am an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the US?
• May I file affidavits as proof tha ti meet the guidelines for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
• Will USCIS consider circumstantial evidence that I have met certain guidelines?• Will I be considered to be in unlawful status if I had an application for asylum or cancellation of removal pending before either USCIS or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) on June 15, 2012?
• Can I request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS if I am in immigration detention under the custody of ICE?
• If I am about to be removed by ICE and believe that I meet the guidelines for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, what steps should I take to seek review of my case before my removal? 
• If individuals meet the guidelines for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals and are encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or ICE, will they be placed into removal proceedings? 
• If I accepted an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process, can I be considered for deferred action under this process?
• If I declined an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process, can I be considered for deferred action under this process?
• If my case was reviewed as part of the case-by-case review process but I was not offered administrative closure, can I be considered for deferred action under this process?
• How will ICE and USCIS handle cases involving individuals who do not satisfy the guidelines of this process but believe they may warrant an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under the June 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Momoranda?
• What should I do if I meet the guidelines of this process and have been issued an ICE detainer following an arrest by a state or local law enforcement officer?
• Someone told me if I pay them a fee, they can expedite my deferred action for childhood arrivals request, is this true?
• What steps will USCIS and ICE take if I engage in fraud through the new process?

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