On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that certain undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as young children and who meet several eligibility criteria may receive “deferred action” and work authorization for a period of two years. Deferred action means that the government will not seek to remove these individuals.
In order to be considered for deferred action, the individual:
- Must have been under the age of 31 and present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
- Must have been under the age of 16 when brought to this country;
- Must have continuously resided in the U.S, for at least five years before June 15, 2012;
- Must be currently in school or have graduated from high school (or have received a GED), or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces;
- Must have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor,” or multiple misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
- Must be at least 15 years of age at the time of application;
- Must complete a background check.
Applications are not yet being accepted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, but guidance on the process is expected no later than August 15, 2012.