Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security declared that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would be available to some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.  Noncitizens who are granted DACA will not be removed from the United States for at least two years as long as they do not commit any crimes.  DACA recipients will have the option to renew their Deferred Action for another two year period.

Unlike the Dream Act, DACA is not a comprehensive or a long-term solution for young unlawful immigrants.  DACA does not excuse unlawful presence or provide young immigrants with a pathway to become a Lawful Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen.  However, it does provide young, unlawful immigrants with a safety net that will allow them to remain in the United States, and obtain a social security card and work authorization.  In most states, DACA recipients will be eligible to apply for a state driver’s license.

If you are considering applying for Deferred Action, you must compile a detailed and organized packet in order to be successful.  You must meet specific requirements and you must prove that you meet these requirements by providing proper documentation.

If you are interested in applying for DACA, you must prove that you were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.  You must be at least 15 years at the time of filing and you must have arrived in the United States from your home country before the age of 16.

DACA is only available to young immigrants who do not have any other immigration options, such as adjusting status based on the U.S. citizenship of a family member.  DACA applicants must have entered the United States before June 15, 2012 or they must have entered the United States with a visa that expired before June 15, 2012.  If you arrived in the United States at the appropriate times, you must also have been present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and you have been residing continuously in the United States since that date.  If you traveled outside the United States before June 15, 2012, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may still approve your petition as long as you can prove that your travel was brief, innocent, and casual.  If you are concerned that your travel may not be classified as brief, innocent, and casual, contact Amara Immigration Law, LLC to speak with our Immigration Attorney.

As a final element to DACA, you must be currently enrolled in high school, have a high school diploma from a U.S. high school, a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran.  You must also make sure that you do not have a criminal record that would preclude you from becoming a DACA recipient, or even worse, a criminal record that would place you in deportation proceedings.  If you have a criminal record, but you are otherwise eligible for DACA, you should speak with an Immigration Attorney immediately.  Contact Amara Immigration Law, LLC today and our Boston Immigration Attorney will discuss DACA with you in further detail.  If our Immigration Attorney determines that you are eligible to apply for DACA, we will assist you in compiling a detailed and well-documented DACA packet to submit to USCIS. Schedule a DACA consultation with Amara Immigration Law, LLC today.

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