We are very happy to announce that today USCIS has posted Deferred Action Application Forms along with the instructions and further guidelines on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Now eligible individuals may apply for DACA and Employment Authorization by completing all the forms and submitting them along with supporting documentation to a USCIS Lockbox facility.
Three forms will need to be submitted together to USCIS accompanied by a fee of $465:
1) From I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals;
2) Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and
3) Form I-765WS, Worksheet establishing your economic need for employment.
After receipt of all the documents, USCIS will review them for completeness, including submission of the required fee, initial evidence and supporting documents. If it is determined that the request is complete, USCIS will send you a receipt notice.
USCIS will then send you an appointment notice to visit an Application Support Center (ASC) for biometric services.
USCIS will conduct background checks on each applicant and will consider whether to exercise prosecutorial discretion in your particular case.
USCIS may request more information or evidence from you through issuance of a Request for Evidence, to which you need to respond in writing, or request that you appear at a USCIS office for an interview.
Today, on August 14, 2012, USCIS held another public engagement on DACA to provide updates on implementation procedures. We participated in this public engagement and would like to summarize some of the most important points covered.
Confidentiality Concerns and Referrals for Immigration Enforcement
A lot of potential DACA applicants are raising their concerns regarding confidentiality of information shared on DACA application and its potential negative effects on DACA applicants and their family members.
There are a lot of questions on the minds of DACA applicants: What will happen to the information I provide on the application? Will this information be shared with anyone to start the deportation proceedings for me or my family members? Will I get deported if my application is denied? What will happen to my family members if my application is denied? Will they be deported? Many potential DACA applicants are fearful of applying considering the consequences of the denied request. For others, availability of work authorization justifies the risks in applying.
If you think that you are eligible for DACA benefits, you need to consider all the risks and benefits and consult a competent immigration attorney to analyze your case before you disclose all your information to USCIS.
Today, USCIS has clarified that the information shared on DACA application is protected from disclosure to ICE (U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings unless the applicant meets the criteria for initiation of removal proceedings.
What will happen to the information provided on DACA application if Deferred Action is Approved?
Applicants who receive deferred action will not be referred to ICE. The information supplied by you however may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than removal, e.g. to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense.
What happens if Deferred Action Request is Denied?
If your deferred action request is denied, USCIS will determine whether to refer your case to ICE for immigration enforcement and initiation of removal proceedings. Normally, if your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.
It is important to emphasize that there is NO APPEAL PROCESS in case USCIS denies your Deferred Action Request. It is therefore critical for anyone who wishes to go forward with the Deferred Action Request to prepare a comprehensive packet of documentation and to investigate any potential problems that may arise to ensure successful results.
We urge anyone who wants to proceed with DACA not to rush with submission of the documents and take time to prepare a strong deferred action packet. Competent legal advice is critical for anyone who wants to apply.
What happens to my family members if my Deferred Action Request is denied and I am referred to ICE for removal proceedings?
USCIS has confirmed that information related to your family members or guardians will not be used for immigration enforcement and can only be shared for purposes other than immigration enforcement. See above.
Effects of expunged or juvenile convictions
USCIS has clarified today that expunged convictions and juvenile convictions will not automatically disqualify you. Your request will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether, under the particular circumstances, a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion is warranted.
Effect of Previous Immigration violations
During the Conference Call today USCIS has also pointed out that previous immigration violations, such as repeated illegal entries, false claims to U.S. citizenship, etc. may impact your ability to qualify for DACA benefits even if you otherwise fit all the criteria. However, USCIS will consider all the facts under the totality or circumstances to determine on a case-by-case basis if your case merits the grant of deferred action.
At this point, it is unclear how USCIS will exercise its prosecutorial discretion in such cases. Therefore, we recommend anyone considering Deferred Action Request to first investigate your immigration and criminal history before applying for DACA. Email us to start your case today.