Money, Undocumented Students

What is the Deferred Action Program?

1 Comment 05 August 2014


The deferred action program, or more formally titled, the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process was authorized and put into place by the Obama administration. As of August 15th, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, started accepting the first requests for the program. Thousands of requests have already been filed. Lamentably, many were done by people that weren’t qualified or through third parties that don’t know how the program works. Even worse is the fact that many con artists are promoting their services when the only thing they intend to do is steal money from those people that are looking for help.

The deferred action program freezes, for a period of two years, the deportation of undocumented youth that meet certain requirements.

Who is Eligible For Deferred Action?

To avoid these problems, you must be clear on the purpose of the program, and who qualifies for it. The program freezes, for a period of two years, the deportation of undocumented youth that meet certain requirements. What’s more, if you prove that you need to work, they can grant you legal employment authorization. After two years, you have the right to apply to participate again. The requirements that you must meet are:

  1. That as of June 15, 2012, you were under 31 years old.
  2. You came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday.
  3. You have resided continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
  4. You were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and will be when you file your request.
  5. You came to the U.S. without a visa, or your visa had expired by June 15, 2012.
  6. You are currently enrolled in school (elementary, middle school, high school, or college); or have graduated from a high school in the U.S.; or you passed the GED; or you’re an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
  7. Lastly, that you’ve never been found guilty of a serious felony, significant misdemeanors, or more than two misdemeanors.

This program is not the famous DREAM Act, nor is it amnesty.

In order to be able to participate in the program, you have to pay $465 for the government to process your request. A complete request consists of three forms: Form I-821D Considertion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals;  Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and the Form I-765 Worksheet. It’s important to stress that this program is not the famous DREAM Act, nor is it amnesty. The USCIS reserves the right to cancel the order of deferred action at any moment and for any reason. Nor does it offer a path to legalization. If they reject your request, you do not have the right to appeal. You can only request that they review your request again if there was a problem in sending the documents, if you didn’t receive something, or they didn’t receive something on time. At no moment should an undocumented person think that this deferred action program is a permanent solution; it is not.

Does Deferred Action Impact Financial Aid?

And how does this impact financial aid? The USCIS has been very clear that this has no impact on your ability to apply for financial aid. Since this program does not grant citizenship or permanent residency to its applicants, they do not qualify for financial aid from the federal government. At the state level, no public university is obligated to offer reduced tuition to undocumented students that are admitted to the program.


This guest post by blogger and financial expert Mike Periu 

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Andrew says:

    While the Deferred Action program is not a permanent solution for helping undocumented immigrants, it could provide some help to immigrants that need some additional time in the United States to study or receive training in something before applying to become a citizen or going back to their home country. The ultimate best path to becoming naturalized is to apply for citizenship and go through the proper channels to receive this, but the Deferred Action program can provide temporary relief for certain select undocumented immigrants.

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