Deferred Action – 10 Things You Must Know Now

The Dream Act still has not passed, but Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals went into effect in August 2012.

Here are ten things you must know about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals:

  1. You can be over 31.  Only immigrants 31 years old or older on June 15, 2012 cannot apply.
  2. There are close to 2 million immigrants who are eligible for Deferred Action.
  3. Immigrants will become eligible for Deferred Action as they turn age15 assuming they meet other criteria.
  4. You can file for Deferred Action under age 15 if already encountered by ICE.
  5. Less than 600,000 immigrants have filed for Deferred Action although the program has been around for nearly 15 months.
  6. Less than a quarter of all Deferred Action applicants are age 24 or older.
  7. The average age of Deferred Action applicants is 20.
  8. Those immigrants lacking high school diplomas can qualify for Deferred Action by signing up for a GED program, or ESL classes, not to mention literacy or career training.
  9. As of now Deferred Action is not scheduled to expire.

10. For more information see

AND PLEASE do not file for Deferred Action on your own.

Seek the service of the best immigration attorney you can find.

I saw a young woman earlier this year who was told by an agency that she was “smart enough” to handle the Deferred Action application without the assistance of a lawyer.

This advice was most unfortunate.  She was delayed for a year as a result.

The bottom line with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is that a strong application with plenty of evidence may be approved in months.

This program changes the lives of immigrants who have lived here since they were babies or 15 years old, for example, AS WELL AS immigrants 31 years old or younger on June 15, 2012.

It gives them two year work permits which may be renewed, which leads to social security cards and driver’s licenses.


In other words, FREEDOM

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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