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Deferred Action

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)


Many refer to this new application process as the "Dream Act", but this is not what it is. The different "Dream Act" bills introduced to Congress over the past several years have all failed to get enough votes to become law.

What we have now is a a status granted by President Obama through the Office of Homeland Security to officially "defer" (put off) deporting specific individuals if they meet certain criteria and are approved for this through an application process with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Deferred action does NOT provide an individual with lawful status (residency or citizenship).

It does give an individual permission to legally work for two years. There is not guarantee that it will be extended or that things won't change with changes in U.S. politics.


You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:

Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
 Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.


If an applicant has not completed a high school degree in the U.S., s/he may still apply if s/he is student currently enrolled in a GED program.

We provide a letter documenting this participation for students who are currently enrolled in a TJ ACE GED class (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, Louisa, Fluvanna, or Nelson). This becomes part of the submitted application.

A few things to keep in mind:

Students who wish to apply for DACA should request a letter from their GED teacher.
Once the application has been submitted the USCIS assumes that the student will continue with the GED program. The USCIS may contact TJ ACE to follow up to confirm that the student is still in the class. Also, the extension of the two year time period may depend or whether or not the student has completed a GED or continues with the program. Bottom line, students: APPLY AND KEEP WORKING ON YOUR GED!
We will document your start date with our program, but any additional documents you can include will strengthen your application.
For example, also include copies of:
  • Any perfect attendance certificates
  • A GED transcript ( if you have passed a GED exam
  • Other recognitions/documents supporting your efforts in school (participation in the Voices Writing Contest, etc.) 


ISCIS Information Site - the official government web page with links to forms, information and a phone number you can call if you have questions.

(la página oficial en espaňol) - This same page in Spanish

Immigration Policy Center - information, nice list of Frequently Asked Questions, etc.

Video series - from the Huffington Post talking about the history of the process and opinions from applicants, lawyers, etc.


Deferred Action Workshop 9/17/12 - Power Point presentation (may take a little time to load) with information, advice, and lists of Charlottesville/Virginia area resources.

Church of the Incarnation - offers clinics/help with filling out the DACA application.