Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA")
Beginning August 15, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") will accept applications for its new program, "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" ("DACA").
A grant of deferred action is not legal status; rather, deferred action is a promise by the U.S. government not to deport someone who is currently out-of-status for a certain period of time. Additionally, a person who is granted deferred action is eligible for a work permit valid for 2 years if he or she can show "an economic necessity for employment." At this time, DACA does not provide a path to obtaining a green card in the United States or U.S. citizenship. Furthermore, each person must individually meet all the criteria for DACA (there are no dependent benefits for children or spouses).
In order to be eligible for deferred action and an associated work permit valid for 2 years, an individual must prove that he or she:
(1) is under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
(2) came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday;
(3) has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007;
(4) was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making his or her request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
(5) entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or his or her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
(6) is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
(7) has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Please contact us or schedule an initial consultation for further information.