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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

What is DACA?

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum that stated eligible foreign nationals can apply for deferred action through the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival” (DACA) process.

Deferred action is not an immigration status, but it does give successful applicants permission to remain in the United States and apply for employment authorization. DACA is designed to help foreign nationals who came to the United States unlawfully when they were just children.

Who is eligible for DACA?

In order to be eligible for DACA, you must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • You were under 31 years old on June 15, 2012;
  • You were at least 15 years old at the time of filing, unless in immigration court proceedings, or you have a final removal order or voluntary departure;
  • You arrived in the United States before your 16th birthday;
  • You continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, to the present;
  • You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of applying for DACA;
  • You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or have had a lawful immigration status expire on or before June 15, 2012,
  • You meet the following education or honorable discharge requirement:
    • Currently in school; or
    • Graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school; or
    • Obtained a general education development (GED) certificate; or
    • Was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
  • You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

If your DACA application is approved, you will be granted deferred action for two years, with the possibility of renewal. You will also be eligible to apply for employment authorization, a social security number, and permission to travel outside the United States for humanitarian, employment, or educational purposes.

If you believe you are eligible for DACA, it is important you speak to an experienced immigration attorney before applying. The government has discretion to deny DACA relief, and there are circumstances where an application could result in enforced action against you.

To schedule an initial consultation to discuss DACA, or any other deferred action issues, call (520) 882-8852 or in Tempe, call us at (480) 933-8941, or contact us.