DACA stands for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is a program where people who came to the United States from other countries as children can request deferred action against removal from the country for two years.
Applicants for DACA must meet certain requirements to qualify. If granted the initial two-year deferment, renewal for additional time is also possible.
Why is June 15, 2012, important?
The program began on June 15, 2012, and a few of the eligibility requirements directly relate to that date. You must have been under age 31 and physically present in the U.S. on that date. You must also not have had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, to be eligible for DACA.
What are the other eligibility requirements for DACA?
You must have come to the U.S. before your 16th birthday. You must have continuously lived in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the present date. You must be in school currently or recently graduated or earned a GED. If you do not meet the education requirement, you must have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces.
Can a criminal record disqualify you from DACA?
To be eligible for DACA, you must not have a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more minor misdemeanors on your criminal record. You must not be a threat to public safety or national security.
The laws regarding DACA have changed a few times since the program was first created in 2012, but as of a recent ruling effective on July 16, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security will accept both first-time DACA requests and renewal requests but not requests for employment authorization.