Eligibility for DACA: What Criteria Should An Undocumented Individual Meet?

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy introduced by the US administration in 2012. The policy aims to offer temporary relief to undocumented individuals who came to the US as children. 

The primary goal of DACA is to offer protection from deportation and provide work authorization to eligible individuals, allowing them to work, study, and live in the US without fear of removal for a certain period of time. Get all the legal help about DACA and its legalities here. 

In this article, we will give an overview of the eligibility criteria that a person should meet to be eligible for the provisions of DACA. 

DACA Eligibility Criteria

DACA is important as it offers temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to certain undocumented individuals who came to the US as children. The criteria for DACA are mentioned below- 

  • Age Requirement: You must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
  • Age at Entry: You must have come to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday.
  • Continuous Residence: You must have continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, up to the present time.
  • Physical Presence: You must have been physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, and at the time of applying for DACA.
  • Immigration Status: You must have entered the US without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status must have expired as of June 15, 2012.
  • Education or Military Service: You must meet one of the following education or military service criteria:
    • Currently enrolled in school, high school diploma, GED certificate, or have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or the Coast Guard.
  • No Felony Convictions: You must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors. Certain minor traffic offenses may not be considered disqualifying misdemeanors.
  • Not a Threat to National Security or Public Safety: You must not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Parting Thoughts

Each case is different, and thus the eligibility requirements may also differ. If you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to apply for DACA, it’s recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney or a reputable immigration organization to assist you with the application process. 

Keep in mind that immigration policies can change, so it’s essential to stay informed about the latest updates related to DACA and other immigration programs.

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