Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who arrived in the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request deferred action for a period of two years. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action is not a lawful status and does not lead to Permanent Resident Status, but recipients will be eligible for employment authorization.
To be eligible to apply for DACA, one must:
- Be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Have come to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 up to the present time;
- Have been 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;
- Have entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or have lawful immigration status that was expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Currently be in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be 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 does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. For each individual who applies, USCIS will also conduct a background check.