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DACA
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain individuals who came to the US as children and meet the agency guidelines can request consideration of deferred action for two years, subject to renewal. This memorandum is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This status provides temporary protection from removal proceedings for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought into the US as children, and who have since honored the law and stayed in school or enlisted in the military.
DACA allows people who pass the background check to have some lawful immigration status for the term of the approval, as well as gives them a chance to apply for temporary work permits. The memorandum formalizing DACA declares that these undocumented immigrants need not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns and recognizes the implicit reality that work authorization will help them support their stay in the US. In doing so, these young men and women are allowed to contribute to the economy while continuing with their education, career, or military service.

First Time request for DACA
Certain guidelines must be followed when requesting DACA for the first time:

1. The person is under the age of 31 years as of June 15, 2012
2. Came to the US before their 16th birthday
3. Have resided continuously in the US since 2007 June 15 and is physically present in the US at the time of requesting consideration of deferred action
4. The person has no illegal status as of 2012 June 15
5. Are you either in school or have graduated from the high school
6. The person has a general education development certificate or is a discharged honorably veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the US
7. The person isn’t convicted of any felony or any serious misdemeanor or even three or more insignificant misdemeanor that doesn’t pose threat to public safety or national security

As the process is complicated and there is so much at stake, discussing this legal framework with an experienced DACA attorney is highly advised. One of the attorneys at Rijal Law Firm will ensure that your request for DACA is made promptly, and prepared so as to offer every opportunity for success in the objective.

As the process is complicated and there is so much at stake, discussing this legal framework with an experienced DACA attorney is highly advised. One of the attorneys at Rijal Law Firm will ensure that your request for DACA is made promptly, and prepared so as to offer every opportunity for success in the objective.

1. If you are in the removal proceedings or the proceedings have been terminated before making the request, you must be 15 years old at the time of submitting the request. Also, you cannot be older than 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012.
2. If you have a final removal order issued against you, you must be under the age of 31 years as of June 15, 2012, but you can be younger than 15 years of age at the time of submitting the request.

If you aren’t sure of the eligibility criteria, seek assistance from a qualified DACA attorney to ensure that you don’t miss this opportunity.
DACA filing process
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you must complete the filing process with the help of an attorney to ensure that the form is filed perfectly and all the necessary documents are attached.

1. You need to fill the Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
2. You need to provide proof of identity, such as passport, school, or military ID with a photo or any other US government immigration or similar documents that have your name or photograph
3. You need to provide proof that you entered the US before your 16th birthday. Provide your passport with an admission stamp, school record from the US school that you attended, or any other document that proves that you were present in the US before your 16th birthday.
4. You need to provide immigration status proof. You can submit Form I-94, I-95 or I-94W with an authorized stay expiration date. A document proving that you are subject to removal proceedings is also acceptable here.
5. You also need to provide documents to prove that you have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, by providing utility bills or employment records, or school records, or dated bank statements.
6. To request DACA you need proof of status as a student. This can be done by providing office records like report cards from the school you attended, a high school diploma or GED certificate, or an official school transcript.
7. You also need to provide proof that you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S by providing form DD-214 or NGB Form 22 or military health records and personnel records, if applicable.

DACA renewals
You can request a renewal of DACA status if you meet the initial 2012 DACA guidelines and satisfy the following requirements:

1. You didn’t depart from the US on or after August 15, 2012, without a valid advance parole document
2. You have resided continuously in the US after submitted the recent DACA request that was approved
3. You are not convicted of a significant misdemeanor or a felony

DACA renewal requests are processed in 120 days. If you file after the expiry of the most recent DACA but within a year of its expiration, you can submit a DACA renewal request. You need to hire an attorney to request DACA renewal or to submit a new initial request.

DACA and EAD
All work authorizations and DACA grants issued for a period of one year have been extended to a period of two-years. On December 10, 2020, the court ordered the government to mail a notice to the individuals who received a one-year employment authorization informing them that their work authorization is now valid for two years. USCIS will mail the new EAD before a period of 30 days of the expiry of their current EAD.

It is highly recommended to speak to an immigration attorney for an individual assessment before you submit an initial or renewal DACA application. Since DACA doesn’t provide a pathway to citizenship as yet, it is recommended that anyone interested in this option undergo a complete legal screening to analyze all available options.

Can DACA recipients apply for advance parole?
As of December 4, 2020, DACA is fully restored to its status of September 2017. An individual is granted DACA for 2 years upon approval, and DACA recipients can request advance parole for employment, education, and other humanitarian reasons. If you are looking to apply for advance parole to travel abroad you will need to get in touch with an attorney to help you complete all the legal formalities.

As of January 2021, President Joe Biden has promised to introduce a bill in the Congress to provide DACA holders a direct pathway to Legal Permanent Residence. If you hold a valid DACA status, call an expert immigration attorney today.

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