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DownloadLearn more about how the immigration process works and help you with your immigration concerns and questions. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center is here to support you in your goal to become a United States citizen.

President Obama's Immigration Act, DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Under President Obama's immigration reform, effective June 15, 2012 a certain "Child Arrival" who came to the U.S. (without inspection) can request for DEFERRED ACTION from REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS if several key guidelines are met, for a period of 2 years, subject to renewal. This temporary status does not confer legal status to be a permanent resident. It is more like a stay of any pending actions. Until it is finalized DACA participants cannot travel with a travel document/ advanced parole nor obtain a work permit/employment authorization document.

DACA Submission Process

DACA applicants must file USCIS form 821D, accompanying documentation and pay all required EAD filing fees.

Upon receipt of Deferred Action work authorization is permitted, which also may need to be renewed. Currently, the USCIS filing fees will approximate $465.

The request for DACA will also require biometrics, a background check and an interview before the USCIS.

It is strongly recommended that an attorney be retained to prepare and process this application, to insure all necessary accompanying documentation is attached and to attend all USCIS interviews. Because, anything that is done incorrect can lead to a denial and there is no available Motion to Reopen/Reconsider or Appeal. Your filing fees and chance to stay in America are gone.

If there are ancillary problems such as a bogus passport or green card, criminal record, incorrect or fake social security number that was used, unauthorized work, having voted or failed to pay taxes on earned or unearned income the result at the interview could lead to a denial, or arrest and being placed into Removal Proceedings.

Our attorneys are well versed in these matters, can sort this out before filing, clarify confusion and often avoid these pitfalls. An attorney can even file for Deferred Action if you are already in Removal Proceedings! We can procure your past criminal records, if any, and assist you in determining if they are felonies, misdemeanors or violations, all of which can have different repercussions toward your eventual approval. Remember, with immigration nothing is as easy as it first appearsâ„ 

To meet the initial guidelines for application you must show proof that you;

  1. Were younger than 31 years of age as of the 15th of June, 2012
  2. Entered the United States prior to your 16th birthday
  3. Have maintained continuous residence in this country since the 17th of June, 2007, until now. (In the event that you have been absent for any period, your attorney can assist in addressing this issue.)
  4. Were physically present in the U.S. on the 17th of June, as well as at the time when you filed your request for Deferred Action
  5. Entered the United States without passing through border inspection protocols before the 15th of June, 2012, or your immigration status expired on that date, making you an overstay
  6. Are currently studying in school, have graduated or received a diploma, GED or other certificate of completion of high school; or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard. (Note that your attorney may be able to help you get around this requirement if you have not yet completed your schooling).
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor offense, or three or more misdemeanors, and have not been a member of a gang and do not pose a threat to public safety or national security. (Note that in some cases it may be possible to have a past conviction expunged and thereby to clear a criminal record.)

An extensive amount of documentation must be submitted with the request to substantiate all of the initial guideline requirements. Sometimes this involves contacting foreign governments and sending Freedom of Information Requests (FOIR) to federal, state and local agencies before filing.

Finally, often the Deferred Action is a gateway to obtaining other benefits such as a professional license, commercial or regular drivers license, valid social security number, work authorization and travel document to legally leave and return to the U.S. Also, in an emergency or desperation certain aid such as, welfare, food stamps, child care and the like may be available. Therefore, it is critical to get knowledgeable legal representation to sort this all out before filing your DACA request.

Speak with a Charleston USA Immigration Law Center Attorney today to find out how this immigration program may impact you.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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