Due to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18th as originally planned. However, the court’s temporary injunction does not affect the existing DACA program. Undocumented youth can still come forward and request an initial grant or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012:
-Came to the U.S. before the age of 16 years old and have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007
– Were under the age of 31 years old at June 15, 2012
– Have completed high school or GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or if you are currently enrolled in school
– Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misconduct
On November 20, 2014, the President announced a program expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years.
Who is eligible?
- Current DACA recipients seeking renewal and new applicants, including individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, who meet all other DACA guidelines.
What are Changes?
- Allows individuals born prior to June 15, 1981, to apply for DACA (removing the upper age restriction) provided they meet all other guidelines.
- Requires continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007.
- Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to three years from the current two years.
What are the New Requirements?
To be eligible for deferred action under the DACA program, you must:
- Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
- Have continuously lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010.
- Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.
- Not have a lawful immigration status.
- Be at least 15 years old.
- Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of U.S. armed forces, or be in school.
When does application process begin?
- Approximately 90 days following the President’s November 20, 2014, announces
- Although the immigration service is not accepting applications at this time for persons that meet the new expanded requirements, prepare now by gathering documentation that establishes your identity and continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010 or more