Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an administrative relief that protects eligible immigrants, who came to the United States when they were children (known as “DREAMers”), from deportation. DACA gives undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit.
The program is discretionary, and it requires that the DACA status and work permit be renewed every two years. Applicants will have to provide substantial documentary evidence of the below criteria. In addition, every applicant must complete and pass a biographic and biometric background check.
Individuals must meet the following criteria to apply for DACA:
- Are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012 (that is, you were born after June 16, 1981);
- 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. (For purposes of calculating this five-year period, brief absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons will not be included);
- 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.
Please note: While a July 16, 2021, injunction (PDF, 401.59 KB) from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and on Oct. 14, 2022 was extended by the district court to the DACA final rule, remains in effect, DHS is prohibited from granting initial DACA requests and related employment authorization under the final rule.
USCIS will accept and process renewal DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization under the final rule. USCIS will continue to accept and process applications for advance parole for current DACA recipients and will continue to accept but not process initial DACA requests.
USCIS recommends DACA recipients submit their renewal requests between 120 and 150 days before their current DACA expires. To request a DACA renewal, the following conditions must be met:
- Applicant did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without a valid travel document (Form I-131)
- Applicant continuously resided in the United States since submitting their most recent approved DACA request
- Applicant has not been convicted of a felony, a serious misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not pose a threat to national security or public safety
DACA Advance Parole
DACA recipients can apply for permission to travel called Advance Parole. You cannot apply for Advance Parole while your request for an initial DACA grant is still pending or if your DACA has expired and you do not currently have DACA. You must have a valid, unexpired passport to travel internationally. If your passport expires within the next 6 months, renew it as soon as possible.
USCIS will currently only grant advance parole to DACA recipients if the travel abroad is in furtherance of one of the following categories:
- Humanitarian purposes, including travel to obtain medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting an ailing relative;
- Educational purposes, such as semester-abroad programs and academic research; or
- Employment purposes such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences, training, or meetings with clients overseas.
At Verma Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience in immigration matters. Contact us at (408)560-4622 for assistance with your DACA renewal or DACA Advance Parole.