The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals offers temporary relief to eligible undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children.
It is important to understand several key aspects of DACA to appreciate its significance and impact on the lives of countless individuals.
Although USCIS is not currently processing NEW initial DACA applications, DACA renewals are being processed.
1. Who qualifies for DACA?
To be eligible for DACA, applicants must meet specific criteria. They should have arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. Continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and physical presence at the time of applying are also mandatory. Applicants must have no felony convictions, significant misdemeanors or multiple misdemeanors.
2. What benefits does DACA provide?
One of the primary benefits of DACA is the opportunity to obtain work authorization. DACA recipients can legally work in the United States and obtain a Social Security Number. This employment authorization can be a life-changing opportunity, providing financial stability and the ability to pursue career goals.
3. Is renewal necessary?
DACA status is not a permanent solution, as it is typically granted for two years. A renewal request needs to happen before the current DACA expires. Failure to apply for renewal on time could result in loss of status and the benefits associated with it. The renewal process involves completing Form I-821D, providing updated information and demonstrating that you have maintained a clean criminal record since your last DACA approval.
In 2022, DACA received 71,669 new or renewal requests and accepted 67,258. While the program helps many people every year, it faces many legal and political changes, making it important to stay informed.