DAPA - Deferred Action for Parental Accountability


Update: Due to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18 as originally planned. The court's temporary injunction, issued February 16, does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012. Please check back for updates. 




“Deferred Action for Parental Accountability”  is an executive policy

of the U.S. federal government announced by President Obama's executive action on November 20, 2014.  Under this policy, undocumented immigrants parents have an opportunity to avoid deportation. The expected roll-out date for this program is May 2015.  However, DHS has been instructed not to detain or deport eligible individuals even though the application period has not yet started.




This program only allows parents to request deferred action and employment authorization if they:

  1. Have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010;

  2. Had, on November 20, 2014, a son or daughter who is  a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and

  3. Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, under the November 20, 2014, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants Memorandum.


Notes: USCIS will consider each request for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) on a case-by-case basis. Enforcement priorities include (but are not limited to) national security and public safety threats.




According to a memorandum by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, DAPA applicants will have to pay $465 for the "work authorization and biometrics fees" and no fee waivers and "very limited" fee exemptions.




Does a DAPA filing make my status in the U.S. legal?


No.  Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status.  The benefit of DAPA filing is that an individual whose case is deferred will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a period of three years, unless terminated.


What happens if USCIS rejects my DAPA deferment application; can I appeal the USCIS deferment decision?


No.  If USCIS decides not to defer action in your case, you cannot appeal the decision or file a motion to reopen or reconsider.  USCIS will not review its discretionary determinations.  Contrarily, it will apply its policy governing referral of cases to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA).  Usually, if a case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud or a threat to national security, it will not be referred to ICE for removal proceedings. However, since there is a chance of being placed in removal proceedings, you should only apply after consulting with a qualified attorney.




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