If you arrived in the United States when you were a child and are not currently in a legal status, DACA could be for you. You must complete high school or join the military, be free of serious criminal conduct, and meet other requirements. If you apply for DACA and are accepted, you are able to work lawfully within the United States. Additionally, you will not be subject to deportation.  

What are the Requirements for DACA?

There are requirements one must meet if you are interested in applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. By meeting these standards, you will ensure a higher likelihood for getting qualified for DACA.

  • You lived in the United States before you were 16 years of age
  • You have resided in the United States since June 15, 2007
  • You were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012
  • You did not possess a lawful immigration status on or prior to June 15, 2012
  • You have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or the Coast Guard of the United States or are currently enrolled in school, have officially completed high school, have obtained a General Education Development (GED) test, or have graduated from high school
  • You are not a felon, have committed fewer than three misdemeanors, and are not deemed a threat to national security
  • You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and when you made your request

How to Apply for DACA

Please note that initial DACA applications are not being accepted by USCIS at this time due to the program’s cancellation by the Trump administration, a decision that is currently being challenged at the Supreme Court (see below). Renewal applications are being accepted. The advice in this section applies to when the program was in place and if it is put back in place in the future.

In order to successfully apply for coverage under DACA, there are a list of documents to be filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Make sure to file them in a prompt and complete manner. Anything left out or mishandled could mean a delay or even a denial of your application. There is no appeal of a denied DACA application.

  • Obtain documentation that proves you meet the requirements.This could include passports, school records, receipts of rent payments, medical records, or bills. These will indicate your presence in the country for the period required for DACA.
  • Obtain forms I-765, I-765 Worksheet, and I-821D from the USCIS. You can get the needed forms by either visiting the USCIS website or going to your local USCIS office.
  • Mail all forms and fees to USCIS After all of your forms have been completed, prepare them and mail them to USCIS. Your fee total will be $465. If not, speak with an immigration expert who will be able to counsel you in what to do.
  • Check the status of your DACA application. You can check your case status online at the USCIS website using your receipt number.

DACA Renewal

DACA renewal applications are still being accepted. It is important for you to renew your DACA if it is going to expire soon. Many of the requisites for DACA renewal are similar to the initial application. If you want to renew DACA, following these steps in order to get your application going again.

  • Locate the expiration date for your DACA status. Before you renew, make sure when you know when you need to renew. This will give you the proper amount of time in order to prepare.
  • Submit your request for renewal 4 months before the expiration of your DACA status. This will let the USCIS process your documentation in a timely manner, making sure your DACA status is renewed in time.
  • When you begin filling out your documents, confirm your requirements for DACA.
    • Confirm that you have met any previous requirements for your DACA status.
    • Bring documentation which proves you have not left the United States after August 15, 2012 without advance notice and approval from USCIS
    • Bring documentation which proves you have lived in the United States consistently since the prior submission of your approved DACA request
    • You are not a felon, have committed fewer than three misdemeanors, and are not deemed a threat to national security
    • Obtain and complete additional forms to USCIS. This includes form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), form I-765WS (Worksheet), and I-821D (Consideration of DACA status). Additionally, the mandatory fee of $465 is required to be mailed in.

What is the current legal status of DACA?

DACA was rescinded by the Trump administration but that rescision is being challenged in court. Currently, the Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in the case, and a decision is expected this summer. At the moment, initial DACA applications are not being accepted, but renewal applications for those already on DACA are being accepted. The status of DACA at the Supreme Court is explained well by this video:

How can Salmon-Haas Help My DACA Status?

If you have any questions about forms, fees, or requirements for DACA, you are not alone. The immigration attorneys at Salmon-Haas are well versed in many aspects of immigration law. By scheduling a simple consultation with them, you will be able to get many of your questions answered, especially those regarding DACA. Salmon-Haas have worked with many clients on DACA applications. This makes them especially qualified to assist you in any issues you may have. If you are looking for a San Antonio DACA attorney or need renewal help, get the right attorneys for the job.

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