In light of recent controversy surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, it is important for undocumented individuals to understand the most recent updates and specifications for who it protects. Although DACA is still valid for previous recipients, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently not accepting new applications as of 2020. Furthermore, individuals seeking to renew their DACA protections must meet strict qualifying standards in order to continue to receive removal deferrals and remain in the United States.

As such, trustworthy legal guidance is especially crucial now for anyone who was brought to the U.S. as an undocumented child. If you are looking for information on current immigration laws under this policy, a Wheaton DACA lawyer could speak with you about your circumstances and help you build a strong case for continual deferred action.

What is the Difference Between Deferred Action and Legal Residence?

“Deferred action” on deportation proceedings is a delay on removal from the U.S. for two years after the acceptance of a DACA application. DACA recipients can continue to seek renewal of this status indefinitely—a process which they must complete every two years in order to remain in the United States—and are legally allowed to work here.

Although DACA is meant to prevent undocumented immigrants who grew up in the U.S. from being deported, it does not make them legal residents in the traditional sense. There is currently no pathway for DACA recipients to obtain a Green Card or become a naturalized citizen. However, this could change in the near future. An informed local attorney can discuss potential policy updates and upcoming DACA revisions with immigrants in Wheaton looking to learn more about their future options under the policy.

Qualifications for a DACA Grant

While USCIS is not currently granting DACA protections to new applicants, it possible that this decision could be reversed in the near future. Whether someone is filing a new application for DACA or seeking a renewal, the same eligibility criteria apply. The requirements for any applicant are listed below:

  • They first entered the United States before January 1st, 2010 and have maintained permanent residence in the U.S. since that date
  • They were 16 years old or younger on their date of initial entry, and under 31 years of age on June 15th, 2012
  • They were present in the U.S. both on June 15th, 2012 and on the date they applied for DACA
  • They have no record of criminal convictions for felony offenses, misdemeanors of a certain severity, or multiple misdemeanors in succession
  • They are either still in school, already graduated from high school, previously acquired a GED, or served in and received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces
  • They pose no threat whatsoever to national security

Anyone who is eligible to pursue DACA protections or status renewal must also submit the following forms:

  • Form I-821D
  • Form I-765
  • Form I-765WS
  • Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Application for Employment Authorization and its associated worksheet

A dedicated lawyer could provide critical assistance to anyone in Wheaton who is beginning the DACA application process. Those seeking protection under this policy are encouraged to reach out to nearby legal counsel for help compiling relevant information and ensuring all documents reach the proper authorities.

Connect with a Wheaton DACA Attorney Today

Receiving protection from deportation can be a complex process under normal circumstances, and is particularly challenging in light of recent political developments. However, despite the controversy, the DACA policy can also be a crucial source of relief for undocumented immigrants who have never known any country but the United States as their home.

A Wheaton DACA lawyer is here to explain your legal options and fight on your behalf to protect your rights. Call today to discuss your circumstances with a compassionate legal professional.

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