DACA is Here and ready.
Question: What is deferred action?
Answer: Deferred action is a discretionary decision by DHS not to pursue enforcement against a person for a specific period. A grant of deferred action does not alter an individual’s existing immigration status or provide a path to citizenship. Thus, deferred action cannot be used to establish eligibility for an immigration status that requires maintenance of lawful status. Deferred action, however, may allow a person to qualify for certain state benefits, such as drivers licenses, though state requirements vary.
While deferred action does not cure any prior or subsequent period of unlawful presence, time in deferred action status is considered a period of stay authorized by the Secretary of DHS. An individual does not accrue unlawful presence while in deferred action status4 or while a DACA application is pending if the individual filed a request before reaching age 18. DHS can renew or terminate a grant of deferred action at any time.
What are the eligibility criteria for DACA?
To establish eligibility for DACA, individuals must demonstrate that they:
Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012,
Arrived in the United States before reaching their 16th birthday,
Continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, to the present,
Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of
requesting deferred action from USCIS,
Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or any lawful immigration status
expired on or before June 15, 2012,
On the date of application, are in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces,
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis and are within the discretion of USCIS.
Question: Is there a minimum age requirement for DACA applicants?
Answer: Individuals who have never been in removal proceedings or whose proceedings were terminated before they apply for DACA must be at least 15 years old at the time of filing their applications. Individuals who are under 15 but otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for DACA can apply once they turn 15.
Individuals in removal proceedings or subject to a final removal or voluntary departure order can apply for DACA even if they are under 15. Eligible individuals who are in immigration custody may not apply to USCIS for consideration, but instead are advised to identify themselves to their ICE detention officer or the Office of the ICE Public Advocate