Applying for Deferred Action (DREAM ACT) with a Deportation Order, Removal Order or In Absentia Order

Today is August 15, 2012 and Immigration (USCIS also known as DHS) is accepting Deferred Action applications .

Is the application process for Deferred Action simple?

Well . . . for some people it may not be as simple as others. I’m often asked about how to apply for deferred action if you have a removal order (also known as a deportation order) or perhaps an in absentia order (which essentially means that you did not appear in Court and were ordered deported/removed without you being in Court by an Immigration Judge).

There is good news . . . well somewhat good news. Even a person with a deportation or removal order may apply for deferred action. However, it is not as simple as applying for deferred action without a deportation or removal order. It will require a two step process which will involve both applying for deferred action with Immigration (USCIS or DHS) and filing what is known as a motion to reopen with the Office of the Chief Counsel which are the lawyers that represent DHS (essentially you can think of them as prosecutors) and the Immigration Court. Obviously, don’t assume that the Office of the Chief Counsel will automatically agree to reopen the deportation/removal case, or that the Immigration
Court will do so. It will certainly be somewhat challenging , but certainly doable. We have been very successful in getting the Office of the Chief Counsel and the Immigration Court to reopen cases even before the Deferred Action program, so I’m hoping our success rate will continue.

In any event . . . I wish everyone good luck and hope that finally all your DREAMs come true.


DHS (Immigration) just made an announcement that the application process will finally begin August 15, 2012. Finally, many innocent children and young adults will be able to obtain deferred action and apply for work authorization. Our office has been flooded with potential applicants who wish to finally be able to work legally in the United States and apply for work authorization and a social security number.

What is also important is that DHS (Immigration) will not use information provided in this application process to enforce immigration laws (meaning the information will not be used for deportation proceedings) unless of course there are major issues. This means all information will be kept confidential.

This has been long awaited. So, for all those that wish to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, let me once again summarize what are the qualification criteria.

You may qualify if you:

  1. Came to the U.S. before your 16th Birthday; and
  2. Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; and
  3. Have been a continuous resident in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 (Short brief absences are okay); and
  4. Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of submitting your application; and
  5. Were out of status before June 15, 2012 (meaning illegal/overstayed/violated your status) or entered without inspection (illegally crossed into the U.S.); and
  6. Are currently in school, or graduated high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the armed services or the coast guard; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, or a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to the national security or public safety.

The very important aspect of this application is that you will not have the right to appeal a denial.Not everyone that meets the above  criteria will automatically qualify. So, it is very important that when you file, it is done the proper way. You will not get a second chance. So, do not mess up this opportunity. If you need professional assistance, contact a licensed experienced attorney, not one of
those immigration offices that are not lawyers.

Another important aspect is that even individuals that are currently in immigration court deportation/removal or were previously in deportation/removal court, or have deportation/removal orders against them can still apply.

Let me summarize, if you qualify . . . don’t be stupid!@!!#%!!!!!!! Get it right the first time!

Best of luck to all of you.