Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

DACA_Img2lr.jpg

What is DACA?

DACA is short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Certain people who were brought to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action. This is not a path to citizenship. However, it can offer:

  • Limited protection from deportation
  • Eligibility for a work permit
  • Permission to travel abroad

DACA was originally instituted in June 2012 and allowed people to apply for protection for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Here are the program's original requirements:

  • Must have entered the United States before 16th birthday
  • Must have been living continually in the United States since June 15, 2007
  • Must have been continually present in the United States since June 15, 2012
  • Must be at least 15 years old at the time of application and less than 31 years old on June 15, 2012
  • Must be in school or graduated high school or have obtained a GED or be honorably discharged from the armed forces
  • Must not be convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor or have more than three regular misdemeanors

What is the DACA Extension?

In November 2014, President Obama announced an extension of DACA protection to certain young people who had been excluded from the original DACA program. Most significantly, the protection was extended from two years to three years, and the upper age limit was eliminated. All other benefits remain in place. Again, this is not a path to citizenship. The DACA extension program is currently on hold due to litigation surrounding the President's Executive Action. We will post any relevant updates on this page.

What are the requirements for the DACA extension?

  • Must have entered the United States before you were 16 years of age
  • Must have entered the United States before January 1, 2010
  • Must have been continually present in the United States since January 1, 2010
  • There is NO AGE CAP
  • Must be in school or graduated high school or have obtained a GED or be honorably discharged from the armed forces
  • Must not be convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor or more than three regular misdemeanors

What documents do I need?

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residency in this country from January 1, 2010 to present
  • Proof that you entered the United States before age 16
  • If you have been convicted of a crime, you may need to show (Live Scan) fingerprint results or court dispositions

How much does the process cost?

  • Initial screening by CARECEN costs $50
  • The application costs $465
  • CARECEN also charges a fee of $200 to cover its own costs
  • CARECEN fills out all forms, prepares your application, and mails it to USCIS for you