Expanded DACA

DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS

On November 20, 2014, the President announced that, within 90 days, USCIS would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). This means more people will be eligible to request deferred action under DACA when the program is expanded.

Under DACA, unauthorized immigrants who meet the requirements will benefit from temporary relief from removal. In addition, you will be considered for employment authorization, which would allow you to work legally in the United States, for a three year period.

Please note that applications under Expanded DACA will begin to be accepted on February 18, 2015.

WHO CAN REQUEST DACA UNDER THE EXPANDED PROGRAM?

You may be considered for deferred action if you:

  • Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 1, 2010, up to the present time;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • 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;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. armed forces or U.S. Coast Guard; and
  • 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
Benefits from DACA
  • Protected from deportation.
  • Authorized to work legally for 3 years.
  • Ability to obtain a Driver’s License.
  • Eligible for Medicaid emergency services.
  • Not Eligible for health benefits under the federal Affordable Care Act, not eligible for food stamps, welfare, supplement security income, children’s health insurance program.
DACA before the reform
  • Applicant over 31 years old were not eligible for this program
    • the age restriction barred all undocumented individuals over 31 years old.
    • age restriction has been removed by the reform.
  • Applicant had to prove continuous presence in the US from June 15 2007 up to the date of application.
    • now applicant needs to prove continuous presence since January 1 2010, which increases the class of eligible individuals.
  • Deportation relief and work authorization were granted for 2 years only.
    • the relief period has been extended to 3 years under the Expanded DACA.
What will happen if my application is denied?
  • When denied, USCIS will refer the case to ICE if it involves criminal offenses, fraud or threat to national security. A denied applicant falling in one of the deportation priorities will be subject to removal.
  • Undocumented persons who have been arrested or convicted of any kind of crime, should consult an immigration attorney prior to applying for DACA.
  • USCIS has prosecutorial discretion to approve deferred action on a case-by-case basis, there is no available means to appeal the decision.
ApplicantDACA BEFOREDACA AFTER
Age at entryBefore or on age of 16Before or on age of 16
Age restrictionUnder age of 31 as of June 15, 2012N/A
Continuous presenceSince June 15, 2007Since January 1, 2010
Education requirementIn school/high school graduate/ GED/discharged VeteranIn school/high school graduate/ GED/discharged Veteran
BarsConviction of felony, significant misdemeanor or 3 or more / threat to national security or public safetyConviction of felony, significant misdemeanor or 3 or more / threat to national security or public safety
Benefits2 years3 years
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