Plan for your future with deferred action and a temporary work visa

Qualified individuals can apply for permission to remain and work in the United States for two years.

As of June 12, 2012, undocumented individuals who came to the United States as children no longer face automatic deportation actions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Instead, they can apply for temporary permission to remain in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Immigrants who meet certain guidelines may apply for consideration for deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. This does not provide lawful status, but allows individuals to apply for temporary work visas and, of course, avoid the threat of deportation.

Below is a summary of the policies and procedures associated with DACA, but a more comprehensive list can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website under "Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)."

What are the qualifications?

To request DACA consideration you must meet the following criteria:

  • Been under age 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Arrived in the United States before your 16th birthday
  • Resided in the United States continuously from June 15, 2007 until the present
  • Been physically present in the United states on June 15, 2012 and be present at the time of making your DACA request
  • Did not have lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Currently be in school, be a graduate or obtained a certificate of completion or general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces
  • Not be convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors
  • Not post a threat to national security or public safety

What proof do I need to supply?

To prove you qualify for DACA, you must gather all documentation related to the qualifications above. This may include financial records (leases, phone bills, credit card bills), school records (diplomas, GED certificates, school transcripts, report cards), medical records, military records and employment records.

If you have ever been arrested, request a copy of your criminal record from the state or FBI as applicable. You should also request a letter describing any criminal proceedings from the courts where rulings were given for each case.

You also will need to provide documentation to prove you lived in the U.S. for the required time periods. One way to do this is to submit a document per every three months as proof. If there are gaps in documentation, you can submit affidavits from at least two different people who have knowledge that you were in the U.S. during each time period.

What is the application process?

If you meet the guidelines for DACA, the application process is as follows:

  1. Collect documents to demonstrate you meet the guidelines.
  2. Complete and submit Forms I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS and the required $465 in fees.
  3. Mail your forms, fees and supporting documents to the appropriate USCIS lockbox, as stated on Form 1-82D. USCIS will provide you with a receipt if all items have been submitted.
  4. You will receive a notice from USCIS scheduling a visit to an Application Support Center for biometric services.
  5. The USCIS will review your request over the course of 90 days, and you will have the ability to check on your case status online.

As with any immigration law issue, it is in your best interest to talk to an experienced attorney about your unique situation. At the Law Offices of Raymond Lo, LLC, we will help ensure you submit a complete and accurate application and advocate for you through the entire process.