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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a government program that can help undocumented individuals who entered the country as children defer deportation proceedings.

While DACA was closed to new applicants for years, a court decision in late 2020 required the program to begin accepting applications again. If you qualify, a dedicated immigration attorney could help you determine your eligibility. Applying for DACA coverage in Aurora could be simplified with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Presence in the United States

A main requirement for DACA eligibility is a sustained residence in the United States. A foreign resident may not apply for DACA coverage while he or she remains in the home country. Specifically, a successful DACA applicant must have been physically present in the country on June 15th, 2012, the date the program went into effect. On that date, the applicant must have been under the age of 31, and he or she must have been younger than 16 at the time of arrival in the U.S. Additionally, according to federal guidelines, an applicant must have lived in the United States since June 15th, 2007 to be granted DACA status.

DACA is only available to individuals who did not have lawful citizenship status on June 15th, 2012. This means that the program’s benefits are not available to anyone who was here lawfully at the time but have since lost their legal status. These requirements for DACA coverage are complex and could be best explained in person by an Aurora attorney.

Pursuit of Education

The second requirement for DACA coverage is that the applicant is pursuing or has completed their education. DACA applications are open to individuals who are either enrolled in or have graduated from high school. Alternatively, the program is also open for those individuals who have completed their general education development (GED) certificate.

There is one exception to the education requirement. As an alternative, applicants could qualify for DACA coverage if they have earned an honorable discharge from any service branch, including the Coast Guard.

Clean Criminal Record

Applicants will only qualify for DACA if they meet certain requirements regarding their criminal history. In some cases, a single conviction could derail a person’s application permanently.

Any person convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor will not qualify for DACA protection. A significant misdemeanor is an offense that leads to a jail sentence of more than 90 days. It also includes other types of offenses, including sexual abuse or domestic violence. While traffic violations will not upend the DACA application process, three or more minor misdemeanor convictions can. A person convicted of any criminal offense should retain a lawyer in Aurora before proceeding with their DACA application.

Let an Aurora Attorney Help You Apply for DACA Coverage

Many factors go into a successful DACA application. It is not enough to simply meet the qualifications, and you must provide extensive documentation to prove your eligibility to the government.

It is important that you undergo this process with minimal errors. An Aurora lawyer could use their knowledge to help you avoid any common mistakes while you are applying for DACA coverage. Call now to get started on your application.

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