On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain individuals who came to the United States as children and who meet certain requirements may request consideration for a 2-year deferment with the possibility of renewal. They also have the right to request a work permit. Suspended action is the exercise by the prosecution of discretionary measures to delay the action of expulsion against a person for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide legal status.
A DACA request may only be granted if USCIS, in its sole discretion, determines that you meet each of the following threshold criteria and merit favorable action in its sole discretion:
- You are under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012 (i.e. you were born on or after June 16, 1981);
arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday;
- Was a permanent resident of the United States from June 15, 2007, until you filed your DACA request;
were physically in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of your DACA application with USCIS;
- Did not have legal immigration status on June 15, 2012, and at the time of filing the DACA application, which means that:
- You never had legal immigration status before June 15, 2012.
- Any legal immigration status or password you received expired on June 15, 2012, and
- Any legal status you had after June 15, 2012, expired or otherwise terminated before you submitted your DACA request;
- Are currently in school, graduated from high school or received a high school diploma, received a General Education Diploma (GED), or are honorably discharged from a position as a veteran of the US Coast Guard or the US military; as well as
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor (i.e., a misdemeanor as described in 8 CFR 236.22(b)(6)), or 3 or more other misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to national or public safety.
Benefits of DACA:
- Protection from deportation: Approved DACA recipients receive temporary relief from deportation, allowing them to remain in the United States without fear of removal.
- Work authorization: DACA recipients are eligible to apply for employment authorization, which allows them to legally work in the United States and obtain a Social Security number.
- Social Security benefits: DACA recipients who receive work authorization may be eligible for certain social security benefits, such as retirement benefits, disability benefits, and survivor benefits.
- Driver’s licenses: Many states allow DACA recipients to obtain driver’s licenses or state identification cards, enabling them to drive legally.
- Access to education: DACA recipients can pursue higher education, including attending colleges and universities, and in some cases, they may be eligible for in-state tuition rates or financial aid.
The process of applying for DACA involves several steps, including:
- Gathering supporting documentation: Applicants must collect evidence to demonstrate their eligibility, such as proof of identity, age, and continuous residence in the United States.
- Completing and submitting forms: The application form, along with supporting documents, must be completed accurately and submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Biometric appointment: Applicants are typically required to attend a biometric appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and signatures.
- USCIS review: USCIS reviews the application, conducts background checks, and verifies the provided information.
- Approval and work authorization: If the application is approved, DACA recipients receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and temporary protection from deportation.
DACA recipients must renew their status every two years to maintain their benefits. The renewal process involves submitting updated forms, providing updated documentation, and paying the required fees. It is important to apply for renewal before the current DACA status expires.
Please contact the Law Office of Ghenadie Rusu for more information about DACA.
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