USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas gave the following information about Deferred Action on August 3, 2012 on a Stakeholder Call. My notes are unofficial and subject to revision.
Director Mayorkas listed the following criteria for applicants
- 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; and
- 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.
USCIS will charge a total government filing fee of $465. This fee will cover the Deferred Action request, the biometrics, and the work permit. Applicants will receive an Employment Authorization Document valid for 2 years.
No one can apply before August 15, 2012. USCIS WILL NOT require interviews as part of the application. USCIS will, however, interview applicants as a quality control measure or if it believes the application involves fraud.
The Director did note that USCIS can rescind the policy at any time and applicants should not rely on the program as a benefit.
Expedites are not allowed.
Director Mayorkas did express his concerns about the unlawful practice of law, or so-called notario fraud. He directed the public to the following web site:
Fee Waivers are not available. Applicants can apply for a Fee Exemption in certain circumstances. Applicants must submit this Exemption before submitting the Deferred Action request. The gist of the Fee Exemption is that applicants can qualify in the following circumstances:
- You are under 18 years of age, homeless, in foster care or otherwise lacking any parental or other familial support, and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level.
- You cannot care for yourself because you suffer from a serious, chronic disability and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level.
- You have, at the time of the request, accumulated $25,000 or more in debt in the past 12 months as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses for yourself or an immediate family member, and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level.
Includes but is not limited to financial, medical, school, or military records. I am unclear how such an applicant could have military records. For education, applicants can use diplomas, degrees, report cards, and the like. Discharged veterans can use separation forms military personnel or health records
USCIS will generally not accept affidavits. The Director did indicate that applicants could use circumstantial evidence to fill in gaps, such as filling in gaps in continuous residence requirements.
Applicants who are still in school must be currently in school on the date of the application.
The Director defined a Significant Misdemeanor as a crime with a maximum punishment term of more than 5 days but less than 1 year and involving the following criteria:
- Regardless of the sentence imposed, is an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; or,
- If not an offense listed above, is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. The sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence. SOURCE
Non-Sign Misdemeanors: Crimes that do not involve Domestic Violence, Sexual abuse, burglary, firearms, drug trafficking, or a DUI and had punishments of less than 90 days.
A Significant Crime or a knowing misrepresentation on an application could implicate an applicant for criminal and or removal proceedings