Boston DACA Immigration Lawyers – Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals
What is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
DACA is a government program initiated by President Obama on June 15,2012 by which individuals who came into the United States as young children (under the age of 16), and meet certain requirements, may be granted Deferred Action which allows them to live and work in the U.S. and can even stop their removal / deportation.
Who is eligible to apply for DACA now?
The Trump administration tried to stop the DACA program in September of 2017, which prevented anyone from filing a DACA application unless they had been granted one before. However on June 18, 2020 the Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s actions were illegal and the DACA program could not be cancelled in that way. As a result, anyone who is eligible for DACA may file an application now even if they never filed one before.
In order to be eligible for the DACA program a person must:
- Have entered the United States before they were 16 years old;
- Have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 (born on June 16, 1981 or later);
- Have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 to the present time;
- Have entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or have had their lawful immigration status expired by June 15, 2012;
- Currently be in school or a General Education Development (GED) program, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or any drunk driving offense; and
- Do not otherwise pose a threat to U.S. national security or public safety.
Does the policy of Deferred Action for Young Immigrants or Childhood Arrivals apply to those who have a final order of deportation or are about to be removed?
Yes, if they meet the eligibility criteria for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) set forth above. They should file a DACA petition with the required supporting documents as soon as possible. Those who are eligible but are detained and/or about to be removed may contact the Law Enforcement support center’s hot line at: 1-855-448-6903 or the ICE office of the Public Advocate’s hotline at: 1-888-351-4024.
For how long will Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals last?
DACA will be granted for a period of 2 years and it may be renewed as long as the program exists. It is important to apply promptly or to renew as soon as you are eligible, as it is unclear how long this program will be permitted to continue.
Can I obtain a work authorization card with DACA? How long is it good for and can it be renewed?
Yes, you may obtain an Employment Authorization Document if you apply for it (Form I-765), can demonstrate economic necessity (Form I-765WS and your DACA petition (Form I-821D) is granted. The work permit may be valid for one to two years and it may be renewed with the renewal of your DACA petition (or up to 180 days before its expiration date).
Can I travel if I have DACA?
When the DACA program was first opened it provided for travel with Advance Parole (a Travel and Re-entry Permit) if the person could demonstrate the travel was for business, education, or a humanitarian need. Unfortunately the program stopped allowing people to travel.
What documentation do I need to apply for DACA?
- Copy of the Original Birth Certificate (translated if necessary)
- Copy of School Records for every year from date of entry (if necessary to establish
continued presence or eligibility)
- Copy of High School Diploma, GED Certificate, or record of current enrollment in School or a GED program
- Complete copy of any prior immigration applications, notices, records, and supporting documents filed with or received from any US government agency [USCIS, ICE, CBP, NVC, Consulate, EOIR, etc.] (if applicable)
- Copy of Driver Licenses or State ID cards (if applicable)
- Copy of Medical Records (if necessary to establish presence in U.S. or eligibility)
- Employment records (i.e. pay stubs, W-2s, bank records, etc., if available)
- Military/Coast Guard records (ie. Report of separation forms, military personnel records, military health records, etc. if applicable)
- List of Addresses with Dates since entry to US
- Copy of complete certified police & court records for any criminal case, including the police report, criminal complaint, plea, court orders, probation records, and any other document (if applicable)
- Complete copy of Passport (if available)
- Copy of I-94 Form (if applicable)
- Copy of Federal Tax Returns (if applicable)
- 4 USCIS/Passport-style photographs
What is the procedure to apply for DACA?
Prepare a file with USCIS forms I-821D, I-765 I-765W and the appropriate supporting documents and records.
Appear at the U.S. Immigration Service Support Center for fingerprints on date scheduled by the USCIS – if necessary during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
Obtain approval notice.
Will I be subject to a background check before I can receive DACA?
Yes. All applicants will have to undergo biographic and biometric (electronic fingerprint submission) background checks prior to receiving Deferred Action. During the COVID-19 state of emergency, USCIS may use data from prior Biometrics if they are available.
What are the U.S. Immigration Service Filing Fees for DACA?
Filing Fees for forms I-821 D and Biometrics are just are $85.00 and for the Form I-765 and I-765WS, $410.00 (click here to verify the U.S. Immigration Service filing fees as these change regularly).