Q: What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?
Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Individuals who meet the DACA requirements and who receive deferred action will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a specific period of time unless the deferral is terminated by the Department of Homeland Security.
Q: How do I know if I am eligible for DACA?
In a speech on November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his intent to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program through Executive Action. Under President Obama’s proposed change, individuals who have already been granted DACA remain eligible for renewal. Additionally, individuals may now request DACA if:
- You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday, the upper age restriction is no longer in place
Continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010, up to the present time, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007;
- Physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014 and at the time of making the request for DACA
Have no lawful status on November 20, 2014;
- Currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran;
- 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.
Q: I think I am eligible, how do I apply?
USCIS is not accepting requests or applications at this time. The agency anticipates the expansion of DACA to go into effect approximately 90 days following the President’s November 20, 2014 announcement. Go to the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) page on USCIS’ website for instructions which will be updated over the next several months.
Q: How long will I be granted DACA?
If you are granted DACA, you will receive deferred action relief and employment authorization for three years.
Q: If I believe that I am eligible for DACA, what can I do right now in order to prepare for applying when the policy is officially announced?
While USCIS is not accepting requests or applications at this time, you can begin collecting documents to establish your identity and your presence in the United States from January 1, 2010 to present.
Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is dedicated in its advocacy and community involvement efforts towards achieving effective comprehensive immigration policy reform. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.