By MERLYNE JEAN-LOUIS, ESQ.
On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama introduced a new immigration policy: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (also known as DACA). DACA permits certain individuals, who entered the U.S. as children and who meet several guidelines, to request to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation from the U.S. DACA recipients are also eligible for a work permit.
You may request DACA if you meet the following criteria:
were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
came to the U.S. before the age of 16;
have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present;
were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time you made your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
had unlawful status on June 15, 2012 (ex. had no visa);
are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have a GED certificate, or were honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces; and
have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
There are other guidelines to consider. For more information about DACA, visit USCIS' website here or contact us here.