DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - Do you qualify?

On August 15, 2012 USCIS released forms for the new DACA Act. People who are interested in applying for Deferred Action and receive work authorization are now eligible to do so. You will need to file Form I-821D, Form I-765 and Form I-765WS. As with most immigration firms, the forms are fairly straight forward and require basic factual information. However, being successful depends on having the right documentation. Without proper documentation, deferred action and employment authorization will not be granted.

Unfortunately, deferred action is not available for everyone. Certain criminal matters may preclude a person from qualifying, even a DUI.

The other negative about this procedure is that there is no guarantee whether it will last more than two years. There is no guarantee that the government, at some time in the future, may decide that all people who register, must leave the United States or be deported. That is a risk that everyone who registers must take.

Here is what is clear: If a person wants to successfully apply, he/she must provide documentation about the following:

  • Entry into the United States before their 16th birthday. – Many people may have merely crossed the border and have no entry documentation. Those with entry documentation (passport and I-94) will have a much easier time proving this fact. Proof of being here in the United States will be useful in establishing entry. Such proof could be school records, medical records, work records, etc.
  • Continuous residence for the last five years, that is, since June 15, 2007. – School records will be very helpful on these, as well as work records.
  • Physical presence in the United States on June 15, 2012. – This documentation may be difficult to obtain. Since most schools were out at that time, school documents may not be helpful. Proof of purchases through canceled checks, credit card statements, etc. will be good. Because this is such a specific date, this is one of the harder items to prove.
  • Out of status as of June 15, 2012. – Therefore, anyone who was not in a lawful nonimmigrant status on that date will be eligible for this relief.
  • Currently in school or graduated from a high school. – For those who were out of high school, they should have a graduation certificate. Those who are still in high school will be able to obtain documentation from their school, verifying their enrollment.
  • Identity Document. – You will need an official document to prove who you are. A passport is great. A birth certificate will do, as well as most other official ID documents.
  • No criminal record, or if so, a minor criminal record. – Anyone who has a criminal record will need to have further discussion to see if that will preclude them from this benefit.

Completing the forms will be relatively easy. Providing adequate documentation will be the most difficult.

Do you need an attorney? No one in the U.S. has to have an attorney. We can do everything without one. However, many or most people do not feel comfortable preparing complex cases. Certainly, paying a $150 for a consultation to answer any questions you may have and verify that you do qualify, is WELL worth it.

DACA EAD's must be renewed 120 days before expiration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently posted a notice on its website with important information for individuals granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA).

If you are a DACA recipient with an employment authorization document (EAD) that will expire in the next 120 days, you must apply for DACA renewal to avoid any lapse in your employment authorization or
accrual of unlawful presence in the United States.

If you have moved since your EAD was granted, please visit www.uscis.gov/addresschange to update your
address on file with USCIS.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss this action and how it applies to you, please call our office at 650-588-7100 to schedule an appointment to meet with an attorney. There is a fee of $150 for the consultation, and you will be quite pleased with the amount of information you will receive.