On June 15, 2012, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced that certain foreign nationals who came to the United States as children and meet several key criteria may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a discretionary determination to defer removal of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Approval on Deferred Action does NOT lead to a Legal Permanent Resident Status.
- Be under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Came to the U.S. before reaching the 16th birthday;
- Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Entered without inspection by June 15, 2012, OR the lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Be physically present in the United States at the time of filing the request for deferred action with USCIS;
- Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Has not been convicted of a (i) felony, (ii) significant misdemeanor, (iii) three or more other misdemeanors, and (iv) does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
An applicant must be at least 15 years or older to request deferred action, unless (s)he is currently in removal proceedings or has a final removal or voluntary departure order.