Deferred Action – Parents

Below are some details about President Obama’s  November 20, 2014, announcement on Deferred Action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents:

Who does this Affect?
An undocumented individual living in the United States who, on the date of the announcement, is the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and who meets the guidelines listed below.

President Obama’s executive order of November 20th, 2014 allows parents to request deferred action and employment authorization if they:

  • Have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010;
  • Are the parents of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and
  • Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, pursuant to the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.

When Will this Take Effect?
Approximately 180 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announcement.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I may qualify for legal permanent residency through my children who are 21, should I wait for that or apply for Deferred Action?

If you already qualify for legal permanent residency through your child many Miami immigration attorneys would advise you to choose that path. Deferred action is not a path to legal permanent residency. It is only a temporary status. However, you can apply for deferred action while you wait for residency through your child who will turn 21.

2. If I had a voluntary departure or a previous deportation but I have children who are U.S. citizens, do I qualify?

Yes, if you otherwise meet the requirements, it is very likely that you will be eligible for deferred action even with a deportation or voluntary departure.

3. What documents should I start preparing for my application?

Since all the details have not been made public, people can start collecting evidence to prove they have lived in the country for at least five years. This means bills, bank statements, pay stubs, and any other documentation to show your presence in the country for 5 years. It is also recommended to have a valid passport and birth certificates of your children, as well as your immigration file if you have any previous immigration history. Should you have any questions in regard to the above, I would advise you to speak with a Miami immigration attorney immediately.

4. If I had a deportation order how does that affect my application?

A deportation order will not affect your case if you otherwise have all the necessary requirements.

5. Under this program, can I travel outside of the United States?

You cannot travel outside of the United States with deferred action. It is only a temporary protection from deportation with the opportunity to work in the country legally. You may be able to get permission from the government to depart based on humanitarian reasons. This information has not been provided by immigration services yet. For up to date information, please either refer to the USCIS website, or speak with your Miami immigration attorney.

6. Is this a path to citizenship?

This is not a path to citizenship. It is temporary protection with permission to work in the country legally.

7. What if I have a criminal record, can I apply?

People with felonies or gang members will not be eligible. A list of the crimes that make you ineligible for this program will be provided by the government in the near future.

8. How can I prove that I have paid taxes for the past five years?

It is recommended that you file taxes for the years that you have worked. You should also apply for an ITIN Number, an individual tax identification number.

9. What if my son/daughter is a U.S. citizen but is not a child. Can I apply?

So far it appears that parents of adult U.S. citizens will also be eligible.

10. What if my U.S. citizen child is adopted, can I still qualify?

If your child is legally adopted, it is likely that you will be eligible for this benefit. However, you will need to check back with the USCIS, or consult with a Miami immigration attorney to confirm this.

11. If one parent was deported and took their U.S. children out of the country, can that parent still apply?

The purpose of the benefit is to keep families together. As such, it is likely that if the child does not live in this country with the parent, the parent cannot benefit from this program.

For more information about Deferred Action for Parents of United States Citizens children or children who are legal Permanent Residents, please contact Miami immigration attorney Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305)895-2500 or visit our website at www.