Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)

During last night's 15-minute speech, President Obama announced a deferred action initiative (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability - DAPA) for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents born on or before November 20, 2014. These parents must have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least the last five years (since January 1, 2010), must pass criminal background checks and must pay back taxes to be eligible to receive deferred action and apply for employment authorization.

Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status and President Obama made it clear that his initiative is not a path to legal status.

President Obama stated that this initiative provides the opportunity for these undocumented parents to "come out of the shadows." However, DAPA is only valid for a period of three years and is revocable. President Obama urges Congress to pass an immigration reform bill if they are not pleased with his initiative.

DAPA is among other immigration initiatives announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014. Additional information regarding the other initiatives can be found at and

DAPA and the other immigration initiatives have not been implemented and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting applications at this time. In the coming months, USCIS and other agencies will work towards implementing these initiatives and provide detailed instructions and explanations. Eligible applicants may subscribe for USCIS updates at