If I have been convicted of a crime am i eligible for deferred action?

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will not grant deferred action to individuals who have been convicted of a felony, three or more misdemeanor offenses not arising out of the same scheme, act or omission, or a significant misdemeanor offense, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A felony is defined as a crime punishable by imprisonment for one year in either state, local, or federal court.

For deferred action purposes, a significant misdemeanor is:

  • · An crime of domestic violence; exploitation or sexual abuse; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug trafficking or distribution; driving under the influence; or burglary; or,
  • · A crime for which the individual was sentenced to more than 90 days in custody. The time in custody refers to time actually served, and does not include suspended sentences.

Time in custody does not include any time served based on a detainer issued by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Any other misdemeanor as defined by federal law is one which the maximum term of imprisonment is less than one year but more than five days, and:

  • · Is not a significant misdemeanor as listed above; and
  • · The actual time sentenced to custody was 90 days or less.

Minor traffic offenses will not be considered misdemeanors for deferment consideration. However, USCIS will use a totality of the circumstances approach in granting prosecutorial discretion. Juvenile convictions and expunged convictions will not automatically disqualify you from receiving deferred action. Applications will be assessed on an individual basis and approved at the discretion of USCIS. If you were a juvenile when the offense was committed, but tried and convicted as an adult, the offense will be considered an adult offenses in USCIS' deferred action analysis.

USCIS will perform a detailed background check during the assessment of your deferred action request. If DHS determines that you are a threat to national security or public safety you will be disqualified for receiving prosecutorial discretion, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Threats to public safety or national security include: criminal activities, gang involvement, or involvement in activities that pose a threat to the U.S.

If you have questions about deferred action please contact us at 888.861.4414 orimmigration@rbrownllc.com

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