Dreamers around the country are celebrating the third anniversary of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Announced in 2012, President Obama, through executive order, took the fear of deportation away for countless undocumented young people in the country. While the expanded DACA program remains on hold while a lawsuit plays out, since the President announced DACA in 2012, Dreamers all over the country have taken advantage of the program. Since USCIS began accepting applications, over 700,000 individuals have benefited from the DACA program. To celebrate, here’s a reminder of the requirements for the DACA program and what you need to apply.
To be eligible for DACA, you must meet the following criteria:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on J aune 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- 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
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
There are 3 USCIS application forms that must be completed:
With your application, you must supply documentation to prove that you meet each of the six eligibility requirements listed above. The documentation can be elementary, high school or college records, report cards or transcripts, baptism, communion, confirmation certificates, federal and state tax returns, medical, dental and vaccination records, bank checking and savings account records, including checks written on specific dates, credit card receipts, apartment leases and pay stubs. Many other documents can be used to demonstrate your presence in the United States, as long as they are normal documents used in the course of business and your name and date appear on the document.
Applying for DACA can be a complicated process that requires a lot of forms and documentation. If you have any questions or would like to begin filing for DACA, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney that is familiar with the DACA process.