U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Thursday that applicants of the popular 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may renew their applications for two additional years. The program, which began in 2012, allows children that entered the United States illegally before their 16th birthday, and that meet certain other eligibility requirements, to receive a temporary deferred action status. According to various news sources, an estimated 560,000 applicants have been approved for deferred action under DACA thus far.
Renewal applications as well as first time applications are available on the USCIS website. According to USCIS, to be eligible for DACA, an individual must meet the following eligibility requirements:
1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
In addition to the above criteria, to renew your DACA deferral, you must meet the following additional requirements:
1. Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
2. Have continuously lived in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
3. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or thee or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
USCIS is encouraging individuals to file their renewal applications at least 120 days prior to the expiration of their current period of deferral in order to avoid a lapse in coverage. If you have questions about DACA and whether or not you may be eligible, you can find more information on the USCIS website or contact us today for a consultation.