Today’s the Day! USCIS Accepting DREAM-Act Deferred Action Applications

It’s August 15th, the forms have been created and the procedures announced.

Now all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  has to do is deal with the anticipated flood of applications for “deferred action” from young undocumented immigrant students and graduates in the United States. This temporary status will give them protection against deportation and a work permit. Up to 1.7 million people may qualify for the program, and news reports describe excitement as many prepare to apply.

Given USCIS’s history of slow action on applications, however, I wouldn’t advise these students to look for an immediate job — maybe not even a holiday temp job. For one thing, all applicants must undergo background checks, in which they’re called in for fingerprinting and the results are run through an FBI database. That alone typically adds weeks to any immigration application process. (But let’s hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised.)

For more information on the deferred action eligibility and application procedures, see Nolo’s articles, “Who Qualifies for Deferred Action as an Immigrant Student or Graduate,” and  “Deferred Action for Young Immigrants: Application Process.”