Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a type of immigration relief available to young people who came to the United States as children and who meet certain requirements. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting DACA applications on August 15, 2012. DACA is available to those who are in removal proceedings or have received final removal orders, as well as those who have never been in removal proceedings. If you are considering applying for DACA relief, the immigration lawyers of the Chávez Law Group can help.
In order to be eligible to apply for DACA, you must meet the following criteria:
- You were under 16 years old when you came to the U.S.
- You were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012
- You have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the present
- You entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or, if you had legal immigration status, it had expired as of June 15, 2012
- You were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 (you must also be physically present in the U.S. when you apply for DACA)
- You are currently in school, have graduated from high school, obtained your GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces or Coast Guard
- You have not been convicted of a felony, a serious misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors
- You do not pose a threat to national security or public safety
You must be at least 15 years old to apply. However, you may apply if you are under 15 if you are in removal proceedings or have a final removal order or a voluntary departure order.
DACA offers temporary relief in lieu of anticipated immigration reform. It is a step in the right direction, but it is not without its pitfalls and risks.
We strongly urge you to consult with an immigration lawyer before applying because you will be exposing yourself if you are here illegally and if you do not meet DACA criteria you could wind up in removal proceedings. You also need to be aware that DACA status is discretionary and can be revoked at any time.
The immigration lawyers of the Chávez Law Group can help you understand what DACA can and cannot do for you, and if applying is the right course of action in your unique circumstances.
If you or someone you love is interested in obtaining U.S. citizenship or is facing deportation, please talk to the immigration lawyers of the Chávez Law Group, today, or submit our online questionnaire.