Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
What is Deferred Action?
Deferred action is a decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) not to deport a person, or pursue enforcement against a person.
While it does not lead to permanent residence, it is considered a period of stay authorized by DHS. It is anticipated that Deferred Action under the Presidentís announcement on June 15, 2012 will be valid for two years and can be renewed.
How do I qualify for Deferred Action?
You must be able to show, through documentary evidence the following:
1. Physically present in the US on June 15, 2012.
2. Under age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
3. Entered the United States before June 15th, 2007 and continuously resided in US since that date.
4. Entered the United States under age 16.
5. Earned high school diploma, GED, or current student; or honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or US Armed Forces?
6. Not convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors.
7. Not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
If I apply for deferred action, are there any risks involved?
A grant of deferred action is not guaranteed, it is up to the discretion of the Government. You need to remember that by filing an application for deferred action, you are informing DHS who you are and where you are. It is critical to have your criminal history records reviewed prior to filing an application. If you do not have your criminal history reviewed prior to filing, there is a risk that DHS may detain you and/or deport you based on your criminal record.
What happens if my application is denied?
The decision to grant or deny the application is discretionary, therefore, there is no appeal. It is unclear at this time how DHS will handle cases for those whose cases are not granted. The final rule for deferred action will not be published until August 15, 2012. We will know more then.
When can I apply?
This process is not yet in effect, therefore, no applications for deferred action should be submitted to DHS at this time. We are waiting for the final rule to be published around August 15, 2012, at which time we will know the exact requirements, filling procedures and costs.
What kind of documents should I begin preparing?
You should begin gathering documents to establish your age, identity, and eligibility. Some of these documents include:
∑ Original or certified copy of birth certificate with English translation
∑ Original Passport and I94, showing date of entry, if available
∑ School records (i.e. academic transcripts, report cards)
∑ Financial records (insurance, bank,
∑ Medical records (i.e. vaccination records)
∑ Employment records (paystubs, tax returns)
∑ Church records (i.e. notarized letters)
∑ Military records
Will I be able to work?
Yes, you may apply and obtain work authorization by filing form I-765 with the Immigration Service, which you may be able to renew every 2 years, if the program remains in place.
Will I be able to travel?
At this time, it is not clear whether applicants for deferred action will be able to travel outside the United States. Until the final rule has been published with specific information about travel, you should not travel outside the United States.
Do I need an attorney to file for this process?
No, you do not NEED an attorney for this process, but should you have one? Yes, absolutely! Immigration law is complex and an attorney will help ensure that your application is prepared by someone who is knowledgeable about immigration law and who will represent your best interests throughout this process.
While hiring an attorney to help you file your case does not guarantee the outcome, it may give you the best opportunity to get it filed properly and to protect you in the future. Remember that Deferred Action is a temporary protection and does not lead to permanent residence; any documentation you provide to the Government during this process will create a record that could potentially be used against you in the future, if not presented properly.
Call us or email us us today for your free consultation. You can also visit our dedicated site for DACA.
We look forward to representing you!