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USCIS Will Begin Accepting Requests for Expanded DACA on February 18, 2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications under the revised guidelines established as part of President Obama’s executive action announcement on February 18, 2015.

As background, on June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain individuals who came to the United States as children and meet certain guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.  Eligible individuals may also apply for work authorization.  Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal or deportation action against an individual for a certain period of time.  Deferred action does NOT provide lawful status.  On November 20, 2014, President Obama made an announcement extending the DACA and work authorization period from two years to three years.

In addition, the new guidelines allow an individual to be considered for DACA if they:

- Entered the United States before the age of 16;
- Have lived in the United States continuously since at least January 1, 2010 rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007;
- Are of any age (removes the prior requirement to have been born before June 15, 1981); and
- Meet all the other DACA requirements.

These requirements state that an applicant must currently be in school, have graduated or obtained a high school diploma, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces AND has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

If you have questions about your eligibility for DACA, please contact us at info@ornerlaw.com.