Despite the wealth of information out there, there is still some confusion as to the meaning of Deferred Action and procedural requirements. Here is a sampling of some common questions fielded by our office:
Is there a deadline to file? No, there is no stated deadline to submit the I-821D request for consideration of deferred action as a childhood arrival. Interested people still might want to file sooner rather than later, though, in the event that there is an administration change and the program is discontinued. People already "in the pipeline" stand a better of chance of being grandfathered in the event that changes are made or policies reversed.
What is the total filing fee? The total filing fee to submit a Deferred Action Request is $465. The base fee for Form I-765, which must be submitted along with the I-821D and I-765 Worksheet, is $380 plus the biometric fee (fingerprints) of $85. Individuals may apply for an exemption from the filing fee, but must satisfy the criteria laid out in the instructions.
Will I be able to get a driver's license if I am granted Deferred Action? It all depends on what state you live in and what the requirements of your respective state's Division of Motor Vehicles. In New Jersey, applicants must meet a six point ID verification process. As of this moment, we still need clarification from NJ Motor Vehicle Commission as to how many points proof of Deferred Status will be assigned.
What if I am denied? Then what? USCIS has publicly stated that information disclosed during the application process will generally not be shared with ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. However, according to the 2011 November Memo regarding issuance of Notices to Appear for Referral to Immigration Court, individuals with findings of fraud in their record, as well as those who have been convicted of deportable offenses, are vulnerable. Anybody with any type of arrest or run-in with the law should consult with immigration counsel first before rushing to file.
Is this the DREAM Act? No, this is not. This program does not grant or confer permanent residence. It provides that individuals granted deferred status will be protected from removal. It is an extension of Prosecutorial Discretion to a discrete class of individuals who warrant deferral.