“Deferred Action” and Travel Outside the U.S.


One of the stated prerequisites for receiving a grant of “deferred action” status (one that allows such residents to stay in the U.S. temporarily without fear of prosecution) is a requirement that an individual must have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012.

This requirement could potentially scare off some potential applicants for deferred action, but it should be noted that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (“ICE”), which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), has published guidance (see: Frequently Asked Questions from ICE) indicating that “brief and innocent absences undertaken for humanitarian purposes will not violate this requirement.”

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is also exploring whether those granted deferred action will be able to travel outside the U.S. for brief periods and/or specific reasons once deferred action has been granted.

For up to date information, readers can check out the USCIS Website, the DHS Website or the ICE Website, as new developments are constantly published on their pages.

We generally do not handle deportation matters, but if you are in need of legal assistance with another immigration matter, do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712 to speak with a qualified attorney. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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