What is DACA?
DACA is an immigration policy. Its acronym stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and it was created by an executive order by President Obama on June 15th, 2012. It offers, as the name said, a deferred action on deportation to young individuals who fulfill certain requisites.
If an individual fulfills the requisites, he or she needs to submit an application and evidence required and pay the application fees. The deferment last 2 years and individuals can re-apply once the two years are up.
What are the requisites for applying to this Deferred Action?
You may request DACA if you:
- 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 June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on 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, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
How much does it cost to file a DACA application?
The application fees (as 8/2/17) is $465.00
Do I need a lawyer to file DACA?
No. There are great guides and instructions to file DACA. If you can afford a lawyer, you can shop around to find a good lawyer who can help you. Follow our guide to find a reputable lawyer near you.
Avoid “notarios” or persons who are not qualified. Read our blog about “notario” fraud and how to prevent it.
How complicated is to file DACA?
Is it an intense process of filling forms and collecting evidence of your presence in the USA. USCIS asks to document the places you have lived, the schools you attended and will question any gap in documentation.
Is there any Guide to fill DACA?
Yes. There are several guides online. The official USCIS guide explains the process (follow this link).
Educators for Fair Consideration is a non-profit organization that posts great resources for undocumented youth and DREAMers. Here is their DACA guide.
How can I find an immigration lawyer?
An immigration lawyer in the USA is a professional who holds a Juris Doctor degree and has specialized in immigration law. This individual has passed a rigorous bar exam, has been accepted as a member of the bar association of his or her state and remains in good standing with the bar association.
Contracting the services of a good lawyer is a real task that requires some knowledge.
You can find an immigration lawyer at the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) website.
Read our blog post on the issue here.