Are You Eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Immigration Program (DACA)?
By: Sam R. Saif
DACA is an immigration program allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exercise prosecutorial discretion to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases. Individuals who came to the United States as children, and who meet specific requirements are considered to be low priority cases. Those who meet the guidelines listed below may be eligible for DACA for a period of two years, subject to renewal for a period of two years. Note there is no guarantee that this program will be available for subsequent renewal periods.
An individual who is granted DACA status may be eligible for employment authorization. This individual may also be eligible for Advance Parole, a document which allows the recipient one-time permission to travel outside of the United States for urgent or humanitarian circumstances. A request for DACA will be granted on a case-by-case basis and is solely within the discretion of DHS.
An individual may be eligible for DACA if he/she:
- Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching his/her 16th birthday;
- Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making his/her request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
- He/She never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
- Any lawful immigration status or parole that he/she obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012.
- Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor (including criminal convictions involving driving while intoxicated or impaired), three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Our firm is ready to help determine individual eligibility and to assist individuals eligible for DACA apply. We have highly experienced attorneys and staff to provide personalized, affordable and results oriented legal service. If you or someone you know may be eligible for DACA, or wish to renew their DACA status, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. Remember, individuals eligible for DACA may be eligible to apply now.
The announced Expanded DACA program is on hold by court order, however, this does not affect individuals who are eligible for the original DACA program.
For more information on the status of Expanded DACA and the DAPA programs, please see the following links:
Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed to be indefinitely up to date. This information is of a general nature and is not intended to apply to any specific or particular circumstance.