The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is an administrative measure begun by President Obama in 2012 to allow for undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. at a young age to remain exempt form deportation. Initially, DACA allowed such individuals to remain in the country for two years, which could be renewed and offered them eligibility to work, but is not a path to citizenship.
In November 2014, however, President Obama announced that the DACA program was being expanded—those seeking employment may now be granted authorization to remain in the U.S. for three years as opposed to two for those applying starting February 18 2015.
Those eligible for DACA need to meet the following criteria:
- You must have entered the U.S. before the age of 16;
- You have lived in the U.S. for a continuous length of time at least from January 1 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007;
- You are of any age (removes the requirement to have been born since June 15, 1981); and
- You meet all other DACA guidelines
In summary, the revisions to DACA remove the requirement that applicant must have been born before June 15 1981 and moves up the date you first began your stay in the U.S. from June 15 2007 to January 1, 2010.
Your first step in applying for DACA is to collect all those documents that prove you meet the above requirements. Such documents need to prove your identity, immigration status, and that you were in the U.S. before you turned 16. You will need to complete the relevant forms and pay all fees before mailing them to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox.
The Simon Law Group works to facilitate and advise our clients who are looking to remain and work in the U.S. under DACA. If you would like to discuss your DACA case, please call our office to schedule an appointment.