DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key eligibility requirements may request consideration for deferred action for a period of two years. DACA is subject to renewal. As a result of the deferred action, the applicant may be eligible for work authorization.
Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis. Individuals must prove through documentation that they meet the guidelines for deferred action. Anyone who is granted deferred action is not a lawful US citizen.
You may request consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals if you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
In order to request consideration of deferred action for child hood arrivals – qualified youth must mail their forms and supporting documentation to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is advisable to present the following supporting evidence:
- Birth Certificate and/or Passport
- Employment records, Medical records, Financial Records, and/or Military Records that show that you came to the U.S before the age of 16, and have resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2012 to the present, and were physically present in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012
- School records – Diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts and other evidence of enrollment
While the Deferred Action eligibility criteria may seem to be straight forward, it is very important to understand that immigration law is complicated. As with any application seeking immigration benefits, an application for Deferred Action could lead to potential consequences for the foreign national. Applicants should always consider seeking the advice of a licensed immigration attorney before submitting an application for DACA.