On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced that certain people who had come to the United States as children could request deferred action on removal for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Those who qualified would be granted work authorization. On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced executive action on immigration that included an expansion of the DACA program, extending the period and work authorization to three years, and eliminating the requirement that applicants had to have been born prior to June 15, 1981.
If you are in the U.S. without legal status, you could qualify for DACA if you meet these criteria:
At this time, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting applications under the new, expanded DACA guidelines, but continues to accept renewal applications and initial applications from people who qualify under the June 2012 DACA criteria. USCIS plans to begin processing initial applications under the expanded guidelines around the end of February 2015.
It’s important to understand that deferred action is simply an act of prosecutorial discretion and does not confer legal status. But it does give the applicant additional time to live and work in the U.S., as well as benefits that include:
At Bretz & Coven, LLP, we encourage you to consult one of our knowledgeable immigration attorneys. If you qualify under the old guidelines, we can get your application started. If you must wait until the government starts accepting applications under the new guidelines in May 2015, we can help ensure that you’re ready. Call our firm today at 212-267-2555 or contact us online so we can start working on your deferment.