On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama announced the launch of a “deferred action” program to suspend immigration enforcement actions against qualifying individuals who came to the U.S. as children.
Qualifying individuals must be prepared to present documentation proving that they:
- Were under the age of 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the U.S. before the age of 16 years old;
- Have resided in the U.S. continuously for at least five years prior to and including June 15, 2012; and
- Are “currently in school” or have graduated from high school, or have obtained a certificate of completion of a high school education, or have obtained a general education development (“GED”) certificate, or have been honorably discharged as a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) has published guidelines to clarify who may qualify as “currently in school” under the rules of the deferred action program, and the USCIS has stated in writing what a qualifying student will have to demonstrate in order to request a renewal of deferred action status in two years.
Basically, in order to have a request for extension considered, an individual must show – at the time of request for renewal- that:
- He or she has graduated from the school in which theywere enrolled; or
- He or she has made substantial measurable progress toward graduating from high school or the school in which they were enrolled.
If he or she is currently in an education program that assists students either in obtaining a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under state law, or in passing a GED exam or other equivalent state-authorized exam, and their case is deferred by USCIS, then in order to obtain an extension of deferred action status in two years, they must show – at the time of request for extension – that they have obtained a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, or that they have passed a GED or other equivalent state-authorized exam.
If he or she is currently enrolled in an education, literacy or career training program, including vocational training, that is designed to lead to postsecondary education, job training or employment, then in order to have a request for extension considered in two years, that person must show that they are – at the time of request for extension – enrolled in postsecondary education, have obtained employment for which they were trained, or have made substantial progress toward completing the program in question.
Specific details on the renewal process have not been made available yet, but will be published on the USCIS Website when released by the U.S. government. Students should prepare now, however, to meet the requirements articulated above.
If you are an individual in need of immigration assistance, do not hesitate to contact our office for an appointment to speak with a qualified immigration attorney at (847) 564-0712. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information on how we might further assist you.