Deferred Action


On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a new package of administrative immigration relief provisions meant to modify 10 areas in our immigration policy that would 1) increase border security 2) focus enforcement resources 3) ensure accountability in our immigration system.

  • You came to the United States before your 16th birthday.
  • You have continually lived in the United States since June 15, 2007.
  • You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained had expired as of June 15, 2012.
  • You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained your certificate of completion from high school, have obtained your G.E.D certification, or you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
  • You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
  • You 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.

Key Provisions
President Obama has authorized two deferred action programs that provide administrative relief to certain undocumented individuals that do not pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. The two programs are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, which was announced in June 2012 and expanded in November 2014, and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, DAPA, announced in November 2014.

Both of these programs instruct the Department of Homeland Security to defer the enforcement of removal policies for low priority undocumented immigrants for a period of 3 years with the possibility of renewal. The programs grant these individuals lawful presence in the United States without fear of deportation and provides them with the opportunity to apply for a work authorization permit. Individuals that wish to be considered for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, DAPA, must meet certain guidelines and prove to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that they are not a threat to national security or public safety.

It is important to note that deferred action is granted by USCIS on a case-by-case basis and that it may be terminated at any time at the agency’s discretion. Furthermore, deferred action does not offer a path to citizenship and any form of legal status. It only allows an individual to be lawfully present in the United States for a certain amount of time.