• By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: January 12, 2021

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a useful immigration tool for young people who were brought to the United States as children.

What is DACA?

DACA is a program created by the Obama administration in 2012 to protect from deportation certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. In addition to protection from deportation, DACA recipients are eligible for a social security number, work authorization, and a state-issued ID or driver’s license.

Do DACA Recipients Have Full Legal Status?

No. DACA does not grant lawful status such as a visa or a green card and does not provide a path to United States citizenship.

Who Qualifies for DACA?

In order to be eligible for DACA, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Entered the United States unlawfully prior to their 16th birthday
  • Have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007
  • Were under age 31 on June 15, 2012
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Have completed high school or a GED, currently enrolled in school, or honorably discharged from the military
  • Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security and public safety

Applicants can file for the protection of the program up until they turn 31 years old.

Can DACA Recipients Travel Outside the United States?

In order to travel outside the United States, a DACA recipient must request Advance Parole and pay a fee. Advance Parole is a permit for a non-U.S. national who does not have an immigrant visa to re-enter the United States.

Can DACA Status Be Renewed?

DACA status is generally good for two years after the date of issuance. You can apply for a renewal.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney

If you want more information about DACA, you should consult with an immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, we have the experience and the compassion you need. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.

Magdalena Cuprys, Esq.

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how
important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands
how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

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