How To Apply For Deferred Action

Immigration attorney Ryan Muennich walks you through the application process for the U.S. Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals program. He says in many cases you don’t need to pay a lawyer to fill out the paperwork for. Ryan also warns that you must follow all of the rules after you make yourself known to immigration authorities.  That means you have to update them about where you live.

Deferred Action.  You only need to get legal assistance from a qualified immigration attorney if you have a problem. Ryan tells you the circumstances in which you do need help in Dream Act Immigrants- Apply Without a Lawyer.

You are eligible if you were under 31-years-old as of June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before you were 16,  continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007,  were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, your visa expired,  you’re in school, graduated from high school, or have a GED and haven’t been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor and are not a threat to the U.S.


  1. Log on to U.S.C.I.S website. Read the guidelines and instructions.
  2. Go to the side of the panel and click on form I821D.  You’ll have to download it and the instructions. Again, read the instructions carefully before you fill out the form.
  3. Fill out the form and sign it.
  4. Download the form I-765.  This is the application for the work permit or Employment Authorization.  It will ask the basis for the application.  In other words, they want know why you should get a work permit. The basis is the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals. So be sure to put that in when you fill out the form.  Attach this form to the I821D form.
  5. Download the form I-765WS.  It’s the worksheet that will accompany the other two forms. This will ask about your income and your assets. It will also ask you to list the reasons that you are requesting the work permit.  Again, your reason is the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals and your plan to get a job as soon as possible.
  6. You’ll need 2 passport photos.  You can do this at a neighborhood shop, or through one of the online services. Write your name and your alien receipt number on the back of each photos.  Attach the photos to the forms.
  7. Make sure you collect all of your documentation:

             a. You need proof that you are under 31-years old as of June 15, 2012-your passport or school records.

             b. You need proof that you came to the U.S. before you were 16-your passport, Visa or school records.

             c. You need proof that your Visa expired-a copy of your Visa.

            d. You need to show that you are in school- report cards, transcripts work. If you graduated, make a copy of your diploma and attach it. If you earned a G.E.D., make a copy of the certificate and attach it

            .e. To show that you lived in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007, you need school documents, credit card receipts, paid bills, or other official documents.

             f. To show that you were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, you need credit card receipts, school documents, or other official papers.

Again, make sure that you have answered all of the questions with the documentation. More is better than less.

  1. Write a check, or get a money order made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $465.
  2. Put all of the forms, photos and documentation together with the check.  Mail the package to the address that’s listed for your region on the forms.
  3. You should receive a receipt in less than month.
  4. Be patient. The next step could take four to six months, although people report quicker action.

You can download all of this information in Facts To Go-Deferred Action

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.

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