June 22, 2012Client Alert

“Deferred Action” and Work Authorization Will Soon be Available to Certain Young Persons Who Are Without Immigration Status

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that certain young persons who were brought to the United States as children may be eligible for “deferred action.” Deferred action does not provide immigration status to qualifying individuals, nor is it a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship. Rather, it allows for temporary relief from deportation (“removal”), available in renewable increments of two years. Further, individuals who are eligible for deferred action may apply for employment authorization. Deferred action will be available to qualifying individuals whether they are in removal proceedings, have final removal orders, or are applying affirmatively.

To qualify, an individual must;

  • not be above the age of 30;
  • have entered the U.S. before age 16;
  • have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
  • have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years as of June 15, 2012;
  • not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors; and
  • currently be in school, have graduated or obtained a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran.


Only those individuals who are able to prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. The Administration is not yet accepting applications for this action. Within sixty days of the announcement, by the middle of August, the Administration expects to issue guidance and information about how eligible individuals can request deferred action and work authorization. 

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