10 YEARS OF DACA

June 15, 2022 marked the 10 year anniversary for the program implemented by President Obama in 2012. While there have been victories and setbacks, DACA has changed the lives of approximately 825,000 individuals living in the United States.

What is DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is a program that allowed individuals who were brought to the United States as children to apply for temporary status. The eligibility requirements for DACA are:

  1. Be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, 
  2. Come to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday
  3. Continuously reside in the country since June 15, 2007
  4. Have a high school diploma, GED certificate (or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces)
  5. Have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor

DACA recipients receive a work permit valid for two years. With the work permit, they have been able to apply for a social security number. DACA recipients are also identified as not a priority for removal from the United States.

The program was passed as a temporary measure to help a vulnerable segment of the population while Congress worked on a long term solution for those who were brought here when they were young.

Current State of DACA

Due to ongoing litigation, DACA has had several starts and stops since its inception. Currently, new applications are not being adjudicated. There are roughly 80,000 applications that were previously filed and that have not been adjudicated because of injunctions.

Those who already have DACA and who have not let it lapse for more than one year are able to continue renewing their work permits and status as DACA recipients.

Options for a Permanent Solution

As of now, there is no path to become a lawful permanent resident solely based on DACA status. DACA recipients must look for other avenues to become permanent residents.

A) Marriage to a US Citizen or permanent resident: Depending on a number of factors, DACA recipients who came to the United States may be eligible to apply to become a lawful permanent resident. Whether they have to leave the country depends on their manner of entry (with or without a visa), how many entries they have, if they have traveled on Advance Parole, if they (or their parents) are the beneficiary of a petition filed prior to April 30, 2001, at what age they received DACA, etc.

Travel on Advance Parole can open the door for certain DACA recipients to adjust status in the United States. Advance Parole is a document that allows DACA recipients to travel outside the United States for employment, education, or humanitarian purposes and return. Upon return, because of current case law, it is almost like the person entered with a visa.

B) U Visa: The U visa is available for victims of certain qualifying crimes that have occured in the United States. Our office has worked with DACA recipients who have also been victims of crimes. The benefit of a U visa is that after three years in U visa status, it is possible to apply for a green card.

For DACA recipients who

  1. Have been a victim of a crime in the United States, 
  2. Are married to a US Citizen or permanent resident
  3. Have traveled on advance parole
  4. Are the beneficiary of a petition filed prior to April 30, 2001 or
  5. Have parents who were beneficiaries of a petition filed prior to April 30, 2001. 

We recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney to see if there are any options available for you today to pursue a green card.

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Hughes Law Group PC

111 S. Division Street
Carson City, NV 89703