On June 15, 2012 the Department of Homeland Security formally announced that it will offer deferred action to “DREAMers.” This means that for millions of undocumented youths who entered the United States without inspection (no visas) as children can now obtain “deferred action” and work authorization from USCIS. Both individuals who are in removal proceedings (deportation) and those who are not in removal proceedings can apply for this benefit. Deferred action and work authorization will be valid for a two year period and can be renewed.
Individuals who qualify for deferred action through the DREAM program can apply and receive authorization to work in the United States.
Individuals who qualify for deferred action through the DREAM program can continue their studies legally and in many instances, qualify for reduced tuition.
Individuals who entered the US as children and who are either:
- In removal proceedings and wish to cancel proceedings and obtain work authorization; or
- Are not in removal proceedings and wish to obtain a legal status and work authorization.
Eligible individuals must:
- Be 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16
- Have been present in the US for at least 5 years as of June 15, 2012
- Have maintained continuous residence
- Have not been convicted of a felony, “significant” misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors
- Be currently in school, graduated or have a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran from the US armed forces
- The deferred action offer will be available to those in removal/deportation proceedings, as well as to those who apply affirmatively.