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Understanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Our Chicago Immigration Attorneys Can Help You Receive And Renew Daca Benefits: (312) 702-1782

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is a federal program initiated in 2012 to provide protection from removal from the United States and employment authorization for certain young undocumented individuals who entered the United State as minors.

While it is important to understand what DACA can do and how it could impact your immigration goals, it is just as important to understand what this federal program cannot do. DACA does not grant anyone a visa status and it is not a permanent benefit. This program does, however, allow eligible applicants to receive a two-year deferral of removal (deportation) and two years of employment authorization where need can be shown. Such benefits can be crucial to individuals dreaming of a day when they can emerge from the shadows and live in the United States without fear of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and removal (deportation).

With DACA, young persons are able to obtain a work authorization card, Social Security number, and possibly a state driver's license and ID. DACA recipients can seek employment and pursue and/or continue goals for work, school, family, and more. While DACA may not be a long-term solution to our broken United States immigration system, it offers significant benefits that are worth exploring.

Learn more about applying for and renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by speaking with our experienced immigration attorneys in our downtown Chicago office: (312) 702-1782.

Are You Eligible For Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (Daca)?

To qualify for deferred action, an applicant must meet a set of eligibility requirements, including:

  • You must have entered the United States before the age of 16.
  • You must have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of your application for deferred action.
  • You must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
  • You must have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007, until the date of applying for deferred action.
  • You must have entered the United States without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had your lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012.
  • You must have no criminal record containing a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors of any nature.
  • You must not pose a threat to the safety of the public and the security of the United States.

In addition, an applicant for deferred action must demonstrate that one of the following applies:

  • You are currently in school.
  • You have graduated from high school or obtained a certificate of high school completion.
  • You have obtained your GED.
  • You are an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces or Coast Guard.

The immigration attorneys at Milla & Associates, LLC are available to answer any questions that you may have regarding applying for or renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

  • Filing initial applications for Deferred Action
  • Renewing applications for existing Deferred Action recipients
  • Pursuing applications and renewals for Employment Authorization Documents related to Deferred Action
  • Submitting applications for Advance Parole documents for travel outside of the United States based on Deferred Action
  • Strategizing immigration cases where individuals eligible for Deferred Action and existing Deferred Action recipients may also be eligible for other immigration benefits in the United States, such as immigrant visas and permanent resident status ("green card") based on family ties in the United States

Related Reading

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Update

Moving Forward

On September 5th, 2017, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative was rescinded by the Trump Administration in a controversial decision. Following and in no small thanks to public backlash and protests, it appears that DACA may still stay afloat. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued new instructions regarding DACA and its applicants.

Unless another federal decision intervenes, the USCIS has resumed and will continue to accept renewed applications for deferred action through DACA. Anyone who has previously been granted deferred action due to DACA may once again apply to the USCIS. People with previous DACA approvals can reapply even if their deferral request expired on or after September 5th, 2016.

Forms needed for a renewed DACA application include:

  • Form I-821D
  • Form I-765
  • Form I-765 worksheet

The USCIS cannot and will not accept deferred action requests from people who have never been given deferral through DACA. It will also not accept any request for advanced parole from a DACA recipient. Applicants whose last deferral expired before September 5th, 2016 may also not request a DACA renewal. However, they can attempt to re-receive DACA deferral through a new application filing; the key difference being that it will not be considered a renewal request.

DACA deferral is largely based on discretion, the USCIS also warned in its updated instructions. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains the power to strip DACA deferral at any time and without official notice, rendering a DACA recipient vulnerable to removal actions once again.

(For more information regarding the latest DACA update circa January 2018, you can click here to visit the official USCIS website announcement.)

How to Renew Deferred Action

If your DACA period has expired, you must submit a request to renew.

The steps to renew are as follows:

  • Complete and sign:
  • Follow the instructions on all three forms to submit them to USCIS. Make sure you submit the correct fees.

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) usually processes renewal requests within 120 days.

    Chicago Immigration Attorneys – (312) 702-1782

    Do you have questions about DACA, how to apply, and whether or not you can gain another deferral from removal actions? Get all the answers and representation you need to navigate such a sensitive immigration law issue by working with Milla & Associates, LLC and our Chicago immigration attorneys. Call to schedule a consultation and discuss your eligibility to apply for and/or renew DACA, contact our firm as soon as possible. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you achieve your immigration goals in the United States.

    Contact us at (312) 702-1782 today to put a consultation on your calendar and get started towards a more secure tomorrow in America.

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