DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

DACA is short for the policy called Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The people who benefit from this program are better known as “Dreamers.” This term refers to the more than 800 thousand people who have entered the United States as minors brought by their parents illegally.

Unfortunately, DACA currently does not grant you permanent status or the ability to obtain citizenship after a specified period of time, as other immigration options do.

DACA is an excellent solution to fix your immigration situation temporarily. In addition to that, part of its requirements is to study and obtain your GED. So, not only are you completing your GED, but you are also meeting the DACA requirements.

In addition to temporarily legalizing your immigration status, you can obtain a work permit, a social security number, and apply for a driver’s license with DACA. All this is essential so that you can have a life full of opportunities in the United States. Also, DACA allows its constituents to enter and leave the country.

Do you need to renew your DACA?

Yes, DACA can be renewed and will last for two years, but you must renew it 150-120 days before it expires. So make sure to renew it within this time period. You do not want to do it too ahead of time to where you are rejected, or so last minute that it expires and you have to do the whole process again. However, keep in mind that some requirements you must demonstrate each time you apply for renewal, such as continuing to study or work.

DACA Requirements:

  1. Be 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 before June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012.
  1. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
  2. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

If you entered the United States with a visa and stayed, that stamp in your passport will serve to show that you entered and did not leave the United States. That is why it is important that you do not throw away old or expired passports that allow you to prove your entry and stay in the United States.

On the other hand, if you did not go through a valid port of entry when you entered the country, you will need additional evidence. The evidence will allow the authorities to determine a possible date of entry and permanence. This information will not only prove the date you entered, but it will also show that you were in the United States during the necessary time period and on the dates established in the requirements.

Some of the documents you can use to prove your location could be:

  • The Form I-94 or I-94W corresponds to the United States entry and exit registration, and the I-94W to the “Visa Waiver Program.”
  • Records, transcripts, participation in state competitions where you demonstrate or prove that you attended school and/or public or private college.
  • Any document from the Immigration Service that indicates your date of entry into the country.
  • If you were hospitalized or treated by a hospital or emergency service, they gave documentation as proof or a medical record.
  • If you attended any religious organization, where they kept some type of record or personal file that can confirm your participation in ceremonies or events with a date.
  • If you opened a bank account or made a transaction where it was recorded.
  • If you signed leases, bought a car, a house, or obtained a loan.
  • Any tax returns you might have received.

The process of applying for DACA is not simple. Like all immigration procedures, you must collect evidence, analyze what is best for you to present your application, correct any crime that can be removed from your file, and ensure that your application will not put you in the immediate removal process. For example, if you are in a situation that endangers the country’s security or you have committed a serious crime, that will justify your deportation.

Also, your DACA final decision cannot be appealed. So you’ll have a better chance of getting DACA if you get it right out of the box.

Virguez Law can be your attorney to present your application to DACA. Although we cannot guarantee the result since DACA is still a discretionary procedure, we have the necessary experience to prepare your case and present an application to result in the best possibilities.

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

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