Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a form of limited relief for certain individuals to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD), permitting them to work in the U.S. on a renewable basis. There are seven basic requirements to be eligible for DACA:
1. Age requirements
You must be at least 15 years old to request DACA, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final order of removal or voluntary departure order. Also, you must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012.
2. Time of Entry
You must have entered the United States before reaching age 16.
3. Continuous residence
You must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 to the present. Short absences from the U.S. may be pardoned, but it is important to provide more documentation and persuasive argument in these situations.
4. Physical presence
You must have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of your DACA request.
5. Immigration status
You must have had no lawful status on June 15, 2012.
6. Education requirements
You must either be currently in school (including being enrolled in GED classes), have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
7. Criminal (lack thereof) requirements
You must have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. Conviction for a DUI precludes DACA eligibility.
Requesting DACA While in Removal Proceedings
It is possible to request DACA even if you are in removal proceedings or have received a final order of removal. Further, sometimes the immigration judge will agree to “administratively close” the removal proceedings against an individual in order to permit the individual to request DACA if s/he is eligible.
Renewing Your DACA-based Employment Authorization Document
You should submit your renewal request about 120 days (4 months) before your current period of DACA will expire. If you submit your request more than 150 days (5 months) before your current period expires, USCIS may reject it and return it to you with instructions to resubmit it closer to the expiration date.
Disclaimer: This web page is intended to give general information only. It should not be relied on as legal advice. Legal advice is only given by contacting one of our attorneys and only after entering into an agreement for legal services.
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