Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which President Obama announced in June 2012, undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and prior to June 2007 can receive exemption from deportation as well as a two-year work permit that can be renewed.

While DACA confers nonimmigrant legal status, it does not provide a means to obtain citizenship. However, many states allow DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition for college and obtain a state-issued driver's license. It is also important to note that DACA recipients can still be deported if it is determined they are a threat to national security or public safety.

Understanding DACA Criteria

USCIS issued a temporary injunction on a proposed expansion of DACA eligibility that was scheduled to take effect in February 2016 due to legal action by lawmakers in some states. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to review and rule on this later this year. This injunction does not affect eligibility under the prior criteria.

As of August 15, 2012, eligible applicants who meet the following criteria can apply for deferred action and obtain employment authorization if approved:

  1. Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  2. Came to the U.S. before reaching their 16th birthday
  3. Continuous physical presence in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the present
  4. Present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
  5. Entered without a visa or their lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012
  6. Currently enrolled in school/GED program or have obtained high school diploma/GED or a United States Military veteran with honorable discharge
  7. No felony convictions, no significant misdemeanor conviction, and cannot have three or more nonsignificant misdemeanor convictions

The immigration lawyers at Steven C. Thal, P.A., are now processing cases for this program and have already filed cases. The USCIS filing fee is $465, which includes biometrics (fingerprints), background checks and the employment authorization document.

It is advisable to review your case with a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to learn the risks and benefits of seeking this relief. Call 612-424-2942 or use our online contact form if you would like to schedule an appointment.