THIS ARTICLE IS NO LONGER CURRENT – USCIS IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING INITIAL DACA APPLICATIONS. PLEASE CHECK THE MOST RECENT DACA ARTICLES POSTED.
On August 15, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for certain young individuals who were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and who arrived to the U.S. before the age of 16. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. If an individual is already in removal proceeding, the request cannot be made to USCIS, but must be handled through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While deferred action does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, individuals whose cases are deferred as part of this process will not be removed from the United States for a two-year period, subject to renewal and may also apply for employment authorization.
You may request consideration of deferred action if you can meet the following guidelines:
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- You came to the U.S. before reaching your 16th birthday;
- You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.