Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer an individual's removal. It does not give the individual lawful status. Although a person granted deferred action does not accrue unlawful presence in the United States during the period deferred action is in effect, deferred action does not absolve individuals of any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.

Under existing regulations, an individual who has been granted deferred action is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” Deferred action can be terminated at any time at Homeland Security’s discretion or renewed by the agency.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must:

  1. Have arrived in the United States under the age of sixteen.
  2. Continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and are present in the United States on June 15, 2012.
  3. Currently be 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.
  4. Not be a felon, free of significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses, pose no threat to national security or public safety.
  5. Be under the age of thirty.
  6. Complete a background check and, for those individuals who make a request to USCIS and are not subject to a final order of removal, must be 15 years old or older.

Individuals must also complete a background check and, for those individuals who make a request to USCIS and are not subject to a final order of removal, must be 15 years old or older.

More Information and Deferred Action Brochure