DACA

DACA

President Barack Obama introduced this policy on June 15, 2012 as an executive order and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for the program on August 15, 2012. During the Trump administration, DACA program was blocked challenged but the Supreme Court overturn it termination allowing to continuing accepting new applicants and renewals.

The United States immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), certain people with unlawful presence in the United States who came to the United States as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S. To be eligible for the program, recipients cannot have felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records and some other considerations apply.

You may request DACA if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. 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;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
    ◦ You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
    ◦ Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. 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
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Age Guidelines

Anyone requesting DACA must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. You must also be at least 15 years or older to request DACA, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order.
For a free evaluation and review of your unique situation, call (602) 603-4032 or contact us online.

DACA – Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for DACA for the 1st time?

  1. How old should I be to apply for my 1st DACA?
  • You must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing
  • If you are in removal proceedings – you may apply earlier
  1. To prove my residence from JUNE 15, 2007 – do I have to provide evidence for every day?
  • You must provide evidence of a REASONABLE proof of your continuance residence in US from June 15, 2007
  • Affidavits may be submitted to explain a gap in the documentation demonstrating that you meet the continuous residence requirement.
  1. What if I left the U.S. since JUNE 15, 2007, can I still apply for DACA?
  • Departures are permitted between June 15, 2007, and June 15, 2012, so long as you were not to renew a tourist visa, because of a deportation or voluntary return, or you left for an extended period of time. 
  • You cannot have left the United States after June 15, 2012, unless with Advance Parole.
  1. Can I apply for DACA if I am currently in school?
  • Yes, if you can show that you are enrolled in public, private, charter school; career training program or educational program assisting student to pass GED exam.
  • High School drop outs do not qualify. They must get a GED first, then they qualify to apply.
  1. What if I got a “traffic ticket” for driving on suspended license?
  • If you have three or more non-significant misdemeanors, like shoplifting, driving on suspended license, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, etc., you do not qualify.  
  • You will need to get certified copies of court records for each crime they have. 
  1. What if I have been convicted of a more serious crime?
  • You cannot apply for DACA if have a Felony, and cannot have a “significant” misdemeanors, like DUI, Domestic Violence, firearm offenses, or any sentence of 90 days or more.
  1. Will I be considered to be in “unlawful status” if I had an application for asylum or cancellation of removal pending before either USCIS or Immigration Court June 15, 2012?
  • Yes. If you had an application for asylum or cancellation of removal pending before either USCIS or Immigration Court as of June 15, 2012, but had no lawful status, you may request consideration of DACA.

Renewing your DACA*?

  1. When should I file my renewal request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • USCIS strongly encourages you to submit your DACA renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  1. Do I need to provide additional documents when I request renewal of deferred action under DACA?
  • No, unless you have new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted to USCIS in a previously approved DACA request. USCIS, however, reserves the authority to request at its discretion additional documents, information or statements relating to a DACA renewal request determination.
  1. If I am no longer in school, can I still request to renew my DACA?
  • Yes. Neither Form I-821D nor the instructions ask renewal requestors for information about continued school enrollment or graduation. The instructions for renewal requests specify that you may be considered for DACA renewal if you met the guidelines
  1. If I initially received DACA and was under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, but have since become 31 or older, can I still request a DACA renewal?
  • Yes. You may request consideration for a renewal of DACA as long as you were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
  1. If my case is deferred under DACA, will I be able to travel outside of the United States?
  • Not automatically. If USCIS has decided to defer action in your case and you want to travel outside the United States, you must apply for advance parole
  1. What if I got a “traffic ticket” for driving on suspended license?
  • If you have three or more non-significant misdemeanors, like shoplifting, driving on suspended license, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, etc., you do not qualify.  
  • You will need to get certified copies of court records for each crime they have. 
  1. What if I have been convicted of a serious crime?
  • You cannot apply for DACA if have a Felony, and cannot have a “significant” misdemeanors, like DUI, Domestic Violence, firearm offenses, or any sentence of 90 days or more.