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Requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program

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The Obama administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), to help young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States, receive two years protection from deportation. In 2015, President Obama executed changes to the DACA program, removing the age restriction and extending the deportation protection from two years to three.

While many Americans misunderstand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it’s important to know that the DACA program does not grant amnesty, green card status, or U.S. citizenship – the program is designed to help ‘DREAMers’ avoid deportation for three years, and to receive a work permit for the protection period.

The DACA program does not allow deportation protection for the parents and/or family members of a child eligible for DACA. These family members must seek other options to obtain legal immigration status to avoid deportation.

Who is Eligible for the DACA Program?

Under President Obama’s revisions in early 2015, you are eligible for deferred action if you:

  • Were under the age of 16 when you came to the United States
  • Have resided continuously in the United States since June 15, 2010
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and also at the time of your application
  • Are either:
    • Currently in school
    • Have graduated and/or earned a certificate of completion from an accredited high school
    • Have completed the general education development course and obtained a GED certificate, or are
    • An honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
  • Have not been convicted of:
    • A felony
    • Significant misdemeanor, or
    • Three or more misdemeanors.
  • Do not pose a threat on public safety or national security

When applying for the DACA program, you must show documented proof of all of the above restrictions. Failure to provide proof of the listed eligibility requirements could result in the denial of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals application.

Supporting Documents for a DACA Application

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, a DACA application requires having supporting documents; including: proof of identity, age, entry date, academic record, proof of presence in the United States, etc. Evidence of these supporting documents could include, but are not limited to:

  • Birth certificate
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of driver’s license
  • Form I-94 and copy of Visa
  • School records – including diplomas and/or GED (attendance dates and degree received)
  • Tax records
  • Bank, credit card, or other financial records of U.S. activity
  • Medical and/or dental records showing U.S. presence
  • Work records from U.S. Employers

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications cost $465; which includes $85 for fingerprinting and $380 for the EAD. Fee exemptions are available for those who fall under the poverty line.

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