An Educational Initiative from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

About Deferred Action

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new policy that will allow certain undocumented young people to remain in the United States temporarily without fear of deportation. These young people will be able to apply for deferred action status, making them eligible for employment authorization and a social security number. The Department of Homeland Security will grant deferred action status for a period of 2 years. At the end of that period, a person can apply for renewal.

The process will consist of two applications — one for deferred action and one for work authorization. The total cost of the application process will be $465.

Deferred Action is NOT:

      • A Legal Status. Deferred action is temporary. It does not provide a pathway to citizenship or legal permanent residence.
      • Permanent. Deferred action can be stopped at any time. The policy can be reversed, including by a new presidential administration.
      •  Guaranteed.  Even if you meet the eligibility requirements, the Department of Homeland Security can deny your application.
      • The DREAM Act. The new policy is not a law and does not create a path to legal status.

Applying for and obtaining deferred action status comes with many risks and benefits. If you are thinking about applying for deferred action, you should consider all of these issues.