DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
You may be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (i.e. DACA) if you came to the U.S. as a child. DACA has existed since June 15, 2012. The Trump Administration attempted to end DACA. However, on June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in the Department of Homeland Security, et. al. v. Regents of the University of California, et. al. concluding the Trump Administration’s September 2017 decision to terminate the DACA program violated the Administrative Procedure Act (i.e. APA). At this time, USCIS will continue to accept DACA renewal applications from anyone who previously was previously granted DACA. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, USCIS should also accept first-time DACA applications, but to date, has refused to do so.
You may be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, if:
- You were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- You entered the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 to the present time;
- You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 as well as at the time of you filed your request for DACA with USCIS;
- You had no lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;
- You are currently attending school, have graduated or earned a certificate of completion from high school, earned a GED, or were honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or 3 or more other misdemeanors, and you do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
In addition, you must be at least 15 years of age or older to apply for DACA unless you are currently in removal proceedings or are subject to a final order of removal or grant of voluntary departure.
DACA recipients are also eligible for employment authorization. It is important to understand that DACA is a form of prosecutorial discretion deferring removal action against you. Deferred action does not provide you with a lawful immigration status. Nor does it create a path to lawful permanent residence or United States citizenship. However, being granted DACA does not prevent you from seeking adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident through a family or employment-based immigrant visa petition, if otherwise, eligible.
Not sure which option is right for you? Request a confidential consultation today.