U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a long list of frequently asked questions on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We encourage anyone who might be affected by the DACA program to read their full FAQ on the USCIS website.
Below are five of the FAQs from USCIS that we believe are essential understanding for anyone who is interested in information about the DACA program.
1. What is DACA?
“On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.
Individuals who can demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the DACA guidelines.”
2. What are the eligibility requirements for DACA?
“You may request consideration of DACA if you:
1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
>You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
>Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
7. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.”
3. Is there any difference between “deferred action” and DACA under this process?
“DACA is one form of deferred action. The relief an individual receives under DACA is identical for immigration purposes to the relief obtained by any person who receives deferred action as an act of prosecutorial discretion.”
4. Can I renew my period of deferred action and employment authorization under DACA?
Yes. You may request consideration for a renewal of your DACA. Your request for a renewal will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If USCIS renews its exercise of discretion under DACA for your case, you will receive deferred action for another two years, and if you demonstrate an economic necessity for employment, you may receive employment authorization throughout that period.
5. When should I file my renewal request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?
“USCIS strongly encourages you to submit your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Filing during this window will minimize the possibility that your current period of DACA will expire before you receive a decision on your renewal request.
USCIS’ current goal is to process DACA renewal requests within 120 days. You may submit an inquiry about the status of your renewal request after it has been pending more than 105 days. To submit an inquiry online, please visit egov.uscis.gov/e-request.”
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Disclaimer: Nothing in relation to the enclosed information should be construed and or considered as legal advice for any individual, entity, case, or situation. The following information is prepared for advertisement use only. The information is intended ONLY to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice on your specific situation, we encourage you to consult an attorney experienced in the area of Immigration Law.