UPDATE: DACA has undergone significant litigation in the last several years. Currently, under an Order issued on December 4, 2020 in the United States District Court, USCIS is accepting first time requests for DACA, renewal requests and applications for advance parole documents (permission to travel outside the United States). Additionally, if you received a one year grant of Deferred Action or Work Authorization under DADA, USCIS is now extending the grants to two years.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals also referred to as DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants permission to remain in the United States. This program originally gave permission to remain in the U.S. for a period of 2 years. However, it has been expanded to allow DACA recipients to remain in the U.S. for a three (3) year period of time. Beginning February 18 2015, some eligibility requirements were changed to expand the population eligible for DACA. DACA recipients may also be eligible to receive employment authorization upon a showing of “economic necessity for employment.: DACA can be terminated at any time at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) discretion.
Eligibility under DACA Expansion: You may be eligible for DACA under the new expanded rules as announced November 20 2014 if you meet the following requirements:
- Entered the United States before reaching your 16th birthday
- Have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010 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:
- You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
- Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational 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, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Renewal of DACA: If you were granted DACA, you may request a renewal. You should submit your renewal request about 120 days before your current DACA will expire. If you met the initial DACA guidelines and meet the additional renewal qualifications, you may be eligible to renew DACA:
- Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.