For DREAMERS, What Does It Mean to be "Enrolled in School" to Meet the Requirement of Being "Currently in School"?

Alan Lee, Esq.

In its latest FAQs, USCIS clarified that to be considered "currently in school" under the guidelines for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), an applicant must be "enrolled in school" on the date he/she submits a request for consideration of deferred action.

Does "currently in school" refer to the date on which the request for consideration of deferred action is filed?

To be considered "currently in school" under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit a request for consideration of deferred action under this process.

Many people may be confused by what it means to be "enrolled in school", and as DACA unfolded during the summertime, many students who were not attending summer sessions may have wondered whether they were eligible to apply until school began again in September. Some who have already applied may be very concerned. It may help to know that in the New York public school system as likely in most school systems, students who are enrolled in the school system are considered enrolled until the end of their last grade at their current school. Applications on form I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals can be submitted by students who are 15 years and older. For DREAMERS who are still students without high school degrees, this generally applies to grades 9-12 (high school) although there may be some in middle school (grades 6 to 8) who can qualify. Students are also considered enrolled throughout the summer vacation. Thus a junior moving to the senior year in high school would be considered enrolled during the summertime even if not taking summer classes. High-school students do not have to re-enroll for any grade or school once they have enrolled with the NYC Office of Student Enrollment. The writer hopes that U.S.C.I.S. further clarifies what it means to be "enrolled in school" in its next set of FAQs as not doing so could cause DACA examiners to deny applications submitted during summer vacations or other school breaks for middle or high school students.

This article © 2012 Alan Lee, Esq.

About The Author

Alan Lee, Esq. is a 30+ year practitioner of immigration law based in New York City holding an AV preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Director, registered in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and on the New York Super Lawyers list. He was awarded the Sidney A. Levine prize for best legal writing at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1977 and has written extensively on immigration over the past years for Interpreter Releases, Immigration Daily, and the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Pakistan Calling, Muhasha and OCS. He has testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings and was recognized by the Taiwan government in 1985 for his work protecting human rights. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004, and his victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case of first impression nationwide, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof. Its value as precedent, however, was short-lived as it was specifically targeted by the Bush Administration in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.

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