If you are a non-citizen who was brought into the United States as a child and are now looking to remain in the country for a length of time, you may be eligible to do so through a policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA defers removal proceedings and grants certain non-citizen individuals who satisfy requirements the right to remain in the United States for up to two years.
A Huntsville DACA lawyer can help you determine whether you may qualify and guide you through the process of applying for DACA. Call a passionate immigration attorney today to learn more.
Who Qualifies For DACA?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to defer the removal of non-citizen immigrants who were brought into the United States as children through no fault of their own. The USCIS looks to see that immigrants have continued to obey the law while residing in the country and have stayed in school or enlisted in the U.S. military. Non-citizens can apply for DACA whether they are currently facing removal proceedings, have already obtained a final order of removal, or have never been in removal proceedings. To qualify, persons seeking DACA must satisfy the following requirements:
- They must have been born on or after June 15, 1982
- They must have entered the United States before turning sixteen years old
- They must have been continuously residing in the United States as of June 15, 200
- They must have been physically present in the United States when they filed their DACA request
- They must have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- They must not have had lawful status on June 15, 2012
- They must presently be in school, have graduated, or have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate
- Alternatively, they must be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard
- They must be free of felony convictions, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more lesser misdemeanors
- They must not pose a threat to the national security of the United States or to public safety
What Does DACA Provide?
DACA offers the non-citizen individual several freedoms not available otherwise. In fact, the intent of DACA upon its formation was to lessen the urgency for removal for its recipients for humanitarian reasons. Congruently, it serves to boost the economy by promoting non-citizens to work so they can support themselves and their families while they remain in the country. In addition to receiving temporary relief from removal, non-citizens who have been granted DACA are eligible to receive employment authorization. Once they receive a work permit, non-citizens then have the enormous benefit of being legally able to work, to apply for a Social Security number, and thus obtain a driver’s license. Though the duration of DACA is limited, the allotted two-year period can be extended.
An experienced Huntsville DACA attorney can assist non-citizens achieve the benefits DACA provides and keep them informed of the latest updates to the federal law as it becomes available. It is important to note that on January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum preserving and fortifying DACA.
Contact a Huntsville DACA Attorney Today
Applying for DACA can be a challenging process but the rewards are great for those who qualify. You may be wondering if your school or military status is sufficient to meet the criteria. Alternatively, you may be wondering if a past brush with the law renders you ineligible to receive DACA. An experienced Huntsville DACA lawyer can answer your questions, offer guidance to help you collect all necessary evidence and help you with the filing process.