Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation created by executive memorandum in June of 2012.
The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. The program expires after two years and is subject to renewal.
NOTE: DACA is temporary and does not grant a path to permanent residency or citizenship. The DREAM Act, which would lead to permanent residency, has NOT passed.
What Are The Requirements For DACA?
To be eligible for deferred action under the DACA program, you must:
Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
Have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.
Not have a lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012. To meet this requirement, (1) you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired before June 15, 2012; and (2) you must not have a lawful immigration status at the time of your application.
Be at least 15 years old at the time you apply for DACA. If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may apply for DACA even if you are not yet 15 years old.
Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, or “be in school” on the date you submit your DACA application.
Have not been convicted of a felony, certain serious misdemeanors (including a single DUI), or three or more misdemeanors of any kind. Consult with an attorney about ANY contact you have had with law enforcement or immigration authorities.
Only persons who already have an approved DACA case are eligible for renewal.
Apply 120-150 days before your DACA and work permit expire. It is important to apply for renewal on time to avoid losing protection from deportation, being without valid work authorization, and accruing unlawful presence once your Deferred Action relief expires.