DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
On August 15, 2012, the USCIS implemented procedures to allow certain individuals age 30 or younger, who are in the United States without documentation - that is, "illegal aliens," who arrived in the US as children, to be granted specific remedies that would allow them to live, study and work in the US, and even travel outside the US and return, without fear of deportation. These new procedures are referred to under the official title "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," or "DACA," and were put in place pursuant to executive actions taken by President Barack Obama in June, 2012.
While DACA is not currently a path to a green card or US citizenship, it is nonetheless an extremely powerful form of relief that will allow millions of young people who have lived most of their lives in the United States the opportunity to more fully engage with US society as students and workers without fear of removal from the country.
Anyone hoping to receive DACA relief must meet the following requirements:
- 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.
The USCIS will accept a variety of evidence to prove that an individual meets the requirements listed above, including school records, police records, passports and other documents. Our office can assist you in determining whether you are eligible for DACA relief, and provide guidance with respect to the evidence you will need to obtain DACA.
The DACA program is a newly-implemented initiative, and as such certain questions about process and timing have yet to be fully answered by the USCIS. When more information is available about these subjects, please return to this page for updates.