[author: Melissa A. Silver, XpertHR Legal Editor]
On August 15, 2012, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. The deferred action program applies to young individuals who were brought into the United States as children and who meet certain criteria in order to be considered for relief from removal from the United States or from entering into removal proceedings. In order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must demonstrate through verifiable documentation the following:
That they came to the United States under the age of 16;
They have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and were present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
They are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor or offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
They are not above the age of thirty.
On August 14, 2012, USCIS published the following forms for childhood arrivals to submit for consideration: Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (with accompanying fees); and an I-765WS, Worksheet. These forms are located on the USCIS website. Further, the USCIS website contains various resources regarding the deferred action process.
Employers should be aware that if the individual's case is deferred, the individual may obtain employment authorization from USCIS provided that he or she can demonstrate an economic necessity for employment. Deferred actions will be granted in two year increments.
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