Posted August 6, 2012

USCIS Releases Guidance on How to Apply For Deferred Action.


On August 6,  USCIS issued guidance on how the agency plans to accept requests from childhood arrivals for deferred action.

A critical requirement for Deferred Action relates to what constitutes a ‘significant misdemeanor.’  According to the guidance:

For the purposes of this process, a significant misdemeanor is a misdemeanor as defined by federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is one year or less but greater than five days) and that meets the following criteria:

  1. Regardless of the sentence imposed, is an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; or,
  2. If not an offense listed above, is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. The sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence.

USCIS will use a ‘totality of circumstances’ approach to analyzing an applicant’s criminal history.  This means reviewing arrest reports, and multiple misdemeanors, including warrants, etc.