DACA For Young Immigrants

DACA ( Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was created on June 15, 2012, by President Obama and consists in a new policy calling for deferred actions for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. Deferred action is a limited immigration benefit by Department of Homeland Security. It can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings.

Individuals meeting the criteria below can apply for DACA:

         are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;

         came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;

         have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present;

         entered the U.S. without inspection or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15, 2012;

         were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

         are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;

         have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and

         do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. 

All the applicants will be required to provide the criteria detailed above and be able to pass a biographic and biometric background check.

If you desire to apply, the total fees for the application, including an application for an Employment Authorization and background check, will be $465, plus any fee to pay to the immigration lawyers.

A fee exemption under very limited circumstances is available for individuals who are in foster care, are disabled, or have medical-care-related debt and whose income is below 150% of the poverty level.

Keep in mind that even if you have been granted of deferred action, it does not grant legal status. Moreover, you can travel outside the States if you apply for and receive advanced parole before the travel.