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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

April 14th, 2021

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a U.S. immigration policy that provides a quasi-legal status and employment authorization to certain individuals unlawfully present in the United States after being brought to the country as children. You may qualify for DACA if you:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012,
  • Came to the U.S. under the age of 16,
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present,
  • Entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had lawful immigration status expire as of June 15, 2012,
    Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of applying for deferred action with USCIS,
  • Are currently enrolled in school, or have graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces or the Coast Guard, and
    Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

If you meet these requirements, you are eligible for DACA. Applicants are eligible for a two-year period and can then renew in two-year increments. To qualify for renewal of DACA, you must:

  • Not have departed the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole,
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since submitting most recent approved request for renewal of DACA up to the present time, and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

On December 4, 2020, a federal judge ordered DHS to restore DACA to its original state as implemented via President Obama's Executive Order. If you meet the eligibility requirement above, you may submit an initial or renewal DACA application. President Biden has instructed the Homeland Security Secretary to take action to protect and fortify the DACA program.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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By Melissa Aguinaga, Esq.

Melissa Aguinaga

As an immigrant, Melissa Aguinaga has experienced the United States immigration system first-hand and firmly believes in its importance to the United States.

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