What is DACA and does it apply to me?
DACA refers to the federal program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It began in 2012 and allows individuals who came to the United States as undocumented children, and who meet certain qualifications, to request deferred action against removal for two years. Once granted, you are provided a work permit good for two years and you can apply for a two-year extension. Many of these persons were brought to the U.S. by their parents when infants or young children. There are approximately 750,000 individuals in the program. Until Congress acts, DACA does not provide a path to citizenship or any permanent protections.
You can apply for DACA status if you meet the following qualifications:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- 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;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- 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.
For more information about DACA, go to www.uscis.gov (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
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