1333 H Street N.W., Suite 900 West, Washington D.C. 20005 | Phone: (202) 644 8600 | www.benachragland.com
WARNING: Beware of notaries and agents who ask you for payment to access USCIS forms and/orpromise to expedite your request for deferred action ahead of other individuals, especially if you do notmeet the criteria. Application procedures will be up on BENACH RAGLAND LLP as soon as they arereleased by USCIS.
BUT WHAT IF I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD?
Individuals who have ever been in contact with law enforcement should consult with acompetent immigration attorney before applying for any immigration benefit.
WHAT IF I WAS ABSENT FROM THE UNITED STATES IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS?
A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuousresidence. If you were absent from the United States for any period of time, your absence willbe considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was before August 15, 2012, and:
The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for theabsence;
The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal;
The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrativegrant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings; and
The purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside the United States werenot contrary to law.Felony
Individuals convicted ofa felony are ineligible forthe program.
A felony isdefined by DHS in rather
broad strokes as “a
federal, state or localcriminal offensepunishable byimprisonment for a term
exceeding one year.” If a
state punishes an offensewith more than a year inprison, it would count as afelony under federal law.Significant Misdmeanor
Individuals with asignificant misdemeanorare ineligible for theprogram
. A significant
misdemeanor is “an
offense of domesticviolence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary;unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drugdistribution or trafficking;or, driving under theinfluence or an offense for which the individual wassentenced to time incustody of more than 90days. Time served incustody does not includea suspended sentence or time served due to an ICEdetainer.Multiple misdemeanors
Individuals who have
been convicted of “three
or more misdemeanoroffenses
not occurringon the same date andnot arising out of thesame act, omission, orscheme of misconduct
are not eligible to beconsidered for deferredaction under the newprocess. A minor trafficoffense will not beconsidered amisdemeanor for purposes of this process.