Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is simply a program that was started during the Obama administration. It is meant to provide some relief against deportation for some undocumented immigrant youth who were living in the country. Under this program, the participants will be able to get work permits and social security cards that they are able to renew every two years. Understanding how to fill out the paperwork and whether you qualify will make a big difference in helping you succeed.
What is DACA and What is Its Purpose?
DACA was first put in place in 2012 and is designed to protect more than 700,000 young people from being deported. These are people who entered the United States with their parents as children, without any lawful status on them. It isn’t meant to provide these individuals with legal status, but does allow them the ability to apply for work authorization. They will be able to use their work permits as official identification for many other things, such as getting a driver’s license.
Keep in mind when you pursue this avenue that the program is not meant to be path citizenship, though there are efforts in place to allow for permanent residency for Dreamers in the immigration law. As of right now, it is just a path that allows the individuals a way to work in the country and it needs to be renewed every few years.
Who Can Qualify for DACA?
There are several requirements that need to be met in order to qualify under DACA. Some of these include:
- You came into the country in an unlawful manner before you were 16 years old.
- You have lived in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007.
- You were in the United States on June 15, 2012.
- You did not hold any legal immigration status on June 15, 2012.
- You were 31 years or younger on June 15, 2012.
- You are currently in the United States when you requested the DACA.
- You do not have a significant misdemeanor, a felony, or three or more misdemeanor offenses.
- You graduated from high school, are in school right now, or you have a GED
- You were an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or the Armed Forces
If you are uncertain about whether you will be able to qualify for DACA or not, you can work with a legal professional to help you out. They can take a look at your case and determine whether it is right for you to apply for this protection or not.
How Can I Apply for DACA?
Once you know that you are eligible to receive DACA, it is time to jump in and start with the application. There are three main forms that you will need to submit. These need to be done for the new application, as well as for any of the renewals that you do down the line. Some of these forms include the :
- Form I-821D: This is the form for Consideration of Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals form.
- Form I-765: This is the form for Application for Employment Authorization Document form.
- Form I-765 Worksheet
It is also possible that you will need to submit some supporting documents with the forms that you send in. you will need to send in these forms and any documents to the USCIS. This is the portion of the Department of Homeland Security that will handle all the DACA requests. There will also be a filing fee of $495 that will cover the biometrics fee and the form filing fee. You will then have your biometrics appointment.
How to Renew Your DACA Status
The DACA status is going to be valid for up to two years. If you would like to continue using it, you will need to renew it. It is a good idea to renew it between 120 to 150 days before it expires to make sure there is time to get the filing done. You will still need to meet some of the requirements that we listed above to ensure that you are able to qualify. You must also not be considered a threat to national security or public safety and that you have lived continuously in the United States since the last approval. You will still need to pay the $495 renewal fee as well.
Why Would My DACA Application be Denied?
There are a number of reasons why your DACA application will be denied. Some of the most common reasons include:
- You did not submit at least one of the application forms that you should have.
- You did not completely fill out the application forms.
- You did not submit the application fees
- You did not include the right supporting documents for your application
- You did not submit a timely response when asked for more supporting documents
- You did not file a renewal application on time
- You left the country without the proper documentation
- You committed a serious crime or you have become a threat to national security.
If you were denied through some of these reasons, you may need to work with the right legal representation to help you figure out how to fix the problem and to resubmit all of your documents to make sure that you are ready to go and can get the authorization that you need. The right legal representation is going to make a big difference on whether you will be able to get the right to work in the country. They can guide you on the right foot with your DACA application and can ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.
When you are ready to see whether you can qualify for DACA or you would like to get the paperwork started and you would like to have the right legal representation there to help along the way, choosing the right DACA lawyer will make all of the difference. Our legal team is well-versed in immigration laws, including DACA, and we know how to help you increase your chances of getting approved and can make it easier to remain in the country. Contact us today to get started.