In June 2012, the federal government initiated a new immigration policy whereby certain applicants who entered the U.S. as children and meet a number of requirements may apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals (“DACA”). This is a type of discretionary determination by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) to delay, or “defer,” removal action against an individual present in the U.S. Deferred action is considered an act of prosecutorial discretion, and if your request is granted, you will receive this consideration for a two-year period, making you eligible for work authorization during this time. DACA status is renewable at the end of the two-year initial grant.
DACA eligibility requirements and application process
In order to request DACA, you must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- Under the age of 31 and physically present in the U.S. as of 6.15.2012
- Entered the U.S. prior to your 16th birthday
- Continuous residence in the United States since 6.15.2007
- Entered the United States without inspection, or lawful immigration status expired prior to 6.15.2012
- Currently enrolled in or have graduated from high school, or earned a GED certificate, or are a Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces veteran (honorable discharge)
- Never convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and pose no threat to national security or public safety
You will be required to provide evidence that you meet all of the above eligibility requirements, including: identifying documents, school or army records, proof of residency, and other documentation. You will have to attach this information to your completed USCIS Form I-821D and I-765 Form and Worksheet, along with the application fee. Once USCIS receives your application, you will have to attend a biometrics services appointment.
Due to the rapidly changing laws in the field of immigration, it is crucial to have a qualified immigration attorney at your side. The versatile immigration attorneys at BK Lawyers LLC are actively following developments regarding DACA and can help you determine if you qualify for this type of application. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.