The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is for young adults who arrived in the United States as children. DACA provides employment authorization (work permit) and protection from deportation for those who qualify. If you are a dreamer who wants to apply for DACA, you will need to know what requirements you need to qualify. Our Miami immigration lawyers break it down for you below.
DACA requires specific criteria to be eligible. Individuals who meet the following criteria may apply for initial consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA):
- Are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present;
- Entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or individuals whose lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;
Those who have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors will not qualify for DACA.
Is DACA Still Taking Applications?
In 2017, the Trump administration made various attempts to end the DACA program. However, in December 2020, a federal judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security to restore DACA as it was first implemented by the Obama administration. Therefore, individuals who meet the criteria listed above can still submit an initial or renewal application for DACA.