(408) 538-3888 / (415) 391-3001

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

 

daca 2.0On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  to grant deferred action to certain undocumented youth that met specific eligibility criteria. Under this administrative relief action, eligible youth will be given temporary relief from deportation while being granted the ability to lawfully work in the United States.

UPDATE: On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced executive actions to address problems in our immigration system including an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. For more information, visit our DAPA page.  

President Obama’s executive action did not change most of DACA’s original requirements, but there are some changes that may allow a grater number of youth to qualify.

Change in eligibility requirements;

  • There is no longer an age cap. If you were told before that you were too old to qualify for DACA this may mean that you now qualify as long as you meet the other criteria.
  • You are only required to show that you lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 instead of  June 15, 2007.

DACA and a work permit will be for three-year periods. Starting November 24, 2014, people who apply for DACA for the first-time or to renew, will receive deferred action and permission to work for three years. if you qualify for DACA under the new criteria, you will have to wait to apply. USCIS will begin accepting applications under the new criteria in approximately 90 days (i.e., February 18, 2015).

What is deferred action?

Under deferred action, the government will not place people who meet certain requirements into deportation proceedings. It is sort of like the government saying: “We know you are in the country without permission or lawful immigration status, and we could deport you, but we will postpone any action on deporting you.” It does not mean that a person with an approved deferred action request has legal immigration status, a visa or a green card. And it is not a path to citizenship. However, a person with deferred action is protected from deportation temporarily, and is eligible for a work permit.

Who qualifies?

To qualify for DACA, under the 06/15/2012 guidelines, you must:

  • Have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Have arrived to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Be physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Have 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.

To qualify for DACA, under the revised 11/20/2014 guidelines, you must (currently not available due to court injunction):

  • Have arrived to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010, up to the present time;
  • Have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of submitting your application;
  • Have 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.

The Law Offices of Bernardo Merino will be assisting immigrant youth with understanding their eligibility in light of the new administrative relief announcement, and with the preparation and submission of their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application. To learn more, please contact our San Jose or San Francisco office.

 

Office Locations

San Francisco & San Jose, CA.

The Law Offices of Bernardo Merino counts with offices in the city of San Jose and San Francisco, CA. Our offices are easily accessible by public transportation or car (street and garage parking available in our immediate area).

Consultations

Schedule by telephone.

Please call the San Francisco or San Jose office to schedule an in-person consultation with immigration attorney Bernardo Merino. Our friendly staff will quickly schedule an appointment that works with your busy schedule.

San Jose Office

Address: 84 W Santa Clara St, Ste. 790
San Jose, CA 95113
Office: (408)538-3888
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San Francisco Office

Address: 233 Sansome St, Ste. 706
San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
Office: (415)391-3001
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