Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA is a memorandum that went into effect on June 15th, 2012. DACA directs all federal agencies associated with immigration enforcement – USCIS, CBP, and ICE to use prosecutorial discretion towards some individuals who entered the United States Illegally as children, usually under the care of their parents or guardians.
A grant of deferred deportation action does not grant any lawful status, alter the individual’s existing status or provide any path to citizenship. Some individuals may be elegible for TPS. Visit our section on TPS for more information about Temporary Protective Status.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The USCIS has posted the following regarding guidlines for DACA:
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
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.
Those currently in removal proceedings or subject to a final removal order or voluntary departure are eligible for deferred action through DACA. Unlike those individuals not in proceedings or without final orders, these individuals need not have reached the age of 15 in order to apply.
The Migration Policy Institute has estimated that 1.76 million people can benefit from this new policy. However, there are some situations which can have different guidelines. Of the population only 72% meet the required age of 15 and older. The other 28% are under 15; forcing them to wait until they are eligible to apply. Also, about 350,000 young adult immigrants that have not completed high school or attained their GED can still apply as long as they re-enroll prior to the date they plan to submit their application. On a broader view potential eligible young immigrants are distributed around the United States. California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois are the five main states that have the largest number of potential beneficiaries. Most of the individuals, 74% of the eligible population, were born in Mexico or Central America. Others come from Caribbean and South America (11%), Asia (9%), and the rest of the world (6%).
Forms required to apply
- [Form I-821D] Application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- [Form I-765] Application for Employment Authorization
- [Form I-765WS] Worksheet for Application for Employment Authorization
- Application fee: $465 ($380 processing fee plus $85 biometrics fee)
The USCIS requires documentation in order to establish physical presence and continuous residence in the United States. A number of documents will be accepted, including:
Proof of Identity:
- Passport or national identity document from your country of origin.
- Birth certificate with photo identification.
- School or military identification with photo.
- Any U.S. government immigration document or other document bearing your name and photo.
Proof you came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday:
- Passport with admission stamp.
- Form I-94/I-95/I-94W.
- School records from the U.S. schools you have attended.
- Any Immigration and Naturalization Services or DHS document stating your date of entry [Form I-862, Notice to Appear].
- Travel records.
- Hospital or medical records.
Proof of immigration status:
- Form I-94/I-95/I-94W with authorized stay expiration date.
- Final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued as of June 15, 2012.
- A charging documentation placing you into removal proceedings.
Proof you continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007:
- Employment records. (Pay stubs, W-2 Forms, etc.)
- School records (letters, report cards, etc.)
- Military records (Form DD-214 or NGB Form 22)
- Official records from a religious entity confirming participation in a religious ceremony
- Birth Certificate of U.S.C. children
- Deeds, mortgages, rental agreement contracts
Proof of your Student Status at the time of Requesting Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals:
- School records (transcripts, report cards, etc.) from the school that you are currently attending in the United States showing the name(s) of the school(s) and periods of school attendance and the current educational or grade level
- U.S. High School Diploma or Certificate of Completion
- U.S. GED Certificate
For more information contact our office and we will asist you with your DACA application. Sorting out the proper applications and documentation should be done right the first time to prevent delays or rejections in your application process.
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