What is daca?
When an individual is granted “deferred action,” it means that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has deemed the individual a low priority for immigration enforcement and has chosen to exercise its discretion and not deport the individual. Certain individuals who came to the U.S. as a child and meet other criteria listed below may be eligible to receive deferred action. Although this process does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, individuals whose cases are deferred will not be removed from the United States for a two-year period, which is subject to renewal. Benefits of being granted deferred action status include being eligible for work authorization if a person can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” Further, depending on the state of residence, a DACA recipient may be eligible for benefits, such as a state ID or driver’s license, in-state college tuition, or non-federal forms of financial aid.
In order to be eligible for deferred action and work authorization, you must meet ALL of the following requirements. You must:
- be under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
- have come to the U.S. while under the age of 16;
- have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the present (for purposes of calculating this five-year period, brief and innocent absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons will not be included);
- have entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or have had your lawful immigration status expire as of June 15, 2012;
- have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- be currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;
- not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors and not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
If you do not qualify based upon the above criteria but apply anyway, you could be subject to removal proceedings by USCIS, DHS, and/or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
To apply, you must submit the required forms and fee. You must also provide documentary evidence to prove that you meet all of the criteria. Finally, you must complete and pass a biographic and biometric background check.
How we can help
Applying for DACA involves risks, and it is important to consult with an immigration attorney before applying. Attorneys at Kayi & Wilkes will help you apply for deferred action status so you can protect yourself and your future in this country. We will discuss the risks with you and help you understand the steps you need to take for a successful deferred action application. We will compile the necessary evidence, prepare and submit the DACA application, and provide you with valuable legal guidance throughout the entire process.
Let our attorneys help secure your safety, your family, and your future. Contact us for a consultation.