Steps to apply for deferred action work permit

While complete details will be available on August 15, 2012 (update: the updated details are now here), preliminary details for the process are as follows:
  1. Wait to apply till USCIS formally starts to accept applications.
  2. The application fee will be $465.
  3. The work permit will be initially valid for two years, as are almost all other employment authorizations, like H-1.  It will be renewable after that with submission of similar paperwork.
  4. Since the USCIS is hiring staff specifically to deal with these applications, the process should be faster.  Still plan on at least a few months from start to finish.  Needless to say that if you already start to put together required documentation and file the paperwork as soon as applications are requested, chances are that you can ahead of slackers.
  5. While every time you submit any documentation to the authorities it becomes part of the record, the USCIS is saying that the information will not be used at this time to identify illegal family members, though, it would not be surprising that in case of criminal activities, this information could be used.  In other words, you may want to think if the risks and benefits are justified for you.
  6. While if you are not eligible, you should definitely NOT apply, but do not lie in order to benefit from this action or submit fraudulent documents.  There maybe friends and family members who may have lied to the authorities or even submitted fraudulent documents to the authorities and they are now legal or even citizens and these folks will tell you to follow their examples, please do not.  It is a bad idea to fall into that trap.  For each person who has benefited from lying or fraudulent papers, there are hundreds who are in jail or were deported.
  7. There are also more details on what new offenses will disqualify you: drug distribution, sex abuse and driving under the influence.  Thankfully, being ticketed for driving without a license will not hurt you.