Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
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If you arrived in the U.S. as a child and now face removal or deportation proceedings, or you have received a final removal order, or even if you have never before been subject to removal proceedings, you may qualify for a deferral of deportation for two years based on what is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This two-year period is subject to renewal.
You can request Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals if:
You were younger than 31 years old on June 15, 2012 (this is the date that President Obama created the DACA policy allowing young people who are foreign citizens and who arrived in the U.S. when they were children to request deferred action);
You arrived in the U.S. before you turned 16;
You have lived in the U.S. continuously from June 15, 2007 until now;
You were actually in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and when you made the request for DACA;
You did not have legal immigrant status on the June 15, 2012 meaning you came to the United States without inspection, or your status expired;
You are presently in school, you are a high school graduate, received a GED, or you were honorably discharged from the U.S military; and
You do not have a felony conviction, major misdemeanor conviction, or more than three other misdemeanor convictions, and you are not otherwise considered a risk to U.S. public safety or national security.
You are also required to be 15 years old or older to request DACA, except if you are presently in proceedings regarding your removal, have a final removal order, or an order for voluntary removal or departure.
If you meet these guidelines for DACA, to make your request to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) you must submit all of the appropriate forms, including an application for employment authorization, and the appropriate documentation and fees. If your request for consideration is granted, you will not be subjected to removal proceedings or removed from the United States for two years. If you have deferred action status, you may apply for employment authorization. However, you cannot obtain lawful permanent resident status or citizenship if your removal is in deferred status. After the two-year deferral period, you may request consideration for an extension of that period of deferred action. As long as you were not older than age 30 on June 15, 2012, you can request a renewal after you have turned 31 years of age. Requests for extension are considered on a case-by-case basis. A deferred status may be revoked at any time.