Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On June 15, 2012 President Obama announced the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA). Through DACA, certain undocumented immigrant youth are safe from deportation and can qualify for work authorization. DACA is valid for two years and it is renewable. DACA is a form of administrative relief that allows for US non-citizens to stay in the country and obtain a work permit but it does not provide legal immigration status or a path to citizenship.
Why Should I Apply?
In addition to safety from deportation and work authorization (which means that you would be able to find a job and work legally in the US!), people who are granted DACA can also apply for a Social Security Number. Individuals may also be able to open personal bank accounts and establish or transfer credit history.
In New York State, individuals who are approved are eligible for a driver’s license/state identification card.
For students who would like to pursue higher education, certain scholarship resources are now open to DACAmented youth. You may also legally apply for certain internships and work study programs during your time in school.
Do I Qualify?
Certain people who came to the United States as children and can meet the requirements are able to apply. The following are several of the guidelines:
You may request consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals if you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the US before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007 up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- 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 Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Click here for more information to find out if you qualify.
How do I Get Help?
DACA is granted by a case-by-case basis and you should consult with a trusted immigration attorney. Damayan is currently one of New York City Department of Youth and Community Development’s Outreach Providers for its DACA Initiative, and can help you get free legal consultations with an attorney if you believe you can qualify for DACA.
Please fill out the form below or get in touch with us to schedule a pre-screening appointment.