Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012, that is designed to help undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States at a young age. The Department of Homeland (DHS) began accepting DACA applications on August 15, 2012.
An individual who is granted DACA is given the peace of mind that the DHS will not seek to remove them from the United States. A DACA approval also provides an individual with a work permit, which the individual can use to obtain a social security number and, depending on the state where they reside, potentially a driver’s license. Rather than hiding in the shadows unable to fully contribute to the society that has educated them, the DACA program allows individuals to establish a more normal life and the freedom to pursue their dreams.
The following are the criteria for DACA eligibility:
Under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
Entered United States before the age of 16;
Continuous residence in the United States from at least June 15, 2007 to the present;
Physically present in United States on June 15, 2012 and at time of submitting the DACA application;
Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or no longer in a valid immigration status on June 15, 2012;
At the time of submitting the DACA application, must be currently in school; have graduated from a US high school; have obtained a GED certificate; or honorably discharged from the US military;
Must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor offense, or 3 or more misdemeanor offenses; and
Be at least 15 years old, unless the individual has a final order of removal or pending removal case.
For further information on DACA, please review our FAQs for DACA.