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For many undocumented individuals who came to this country as a child, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is the best option to avoid deportation. This policy allows undocumented persons to defer deportation as long as they avoid criminal convictions, attend school, and meet other requirements.

Applications for DACA were suspended for several years, but a December 2020 court decision has required the federal government to reopen applications. If you are considering applying for DACA coverage in Wheaton, you could benefit from a discussion with a dedicated immigration attorney.

What are the DACA Requirements?

There are a number of basic requirements for DACA coverage, starting with an applicant’s age. Successful applicants must have been no more than 30 years of age on June 15, 2015. Likewise, they must have entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday. In addition to these basic requirements, there are several other important factors that must be met to qualify for this program.

Continuous Residence

Applicants must establish their continuous residence in the United States to qualify for DACA coverage in Wheaton. This residence must have begun on or before June 15, 2007, and continued through the present date. While there are some exceptions that allowed for travel prior to June 15, 2012, all applicants must have remained physically present in the U.S. continuously since that date.

Criminal History

The government will carefully scrutinize an applicant’s criminal history prior to accepting a DACA application. Certain offenses, including felonies and significant misdemeanors, will result in permanent denial. Minor misdemeanors can also lead to a denial if an applicant has accrued more than three convictions. The federal government can also deny an application based on national security concerns, a rule that applies to individuals who have never even been convicted of a crime.

Student Status

DACA is reserved for students who are working towards or have completed their high school education, but there are some exceptions that can allow other individuals to meet this requirement.

First, DACA is available to anyone that is working toward their high school degree. The same is true for an applicant who has either graduated high school or completed their GED. However, applicants without student or graduate status could instead meet this requirement with an honorable discharge from any of the armed services.

How Does the DACA Application Process Work?

Seeking DACA coverage is a time-consuming process. Applying for DACA coverage starts with a series of forms. It is important to follow the instructions included with these forms closely and sign each of them where directed, and an attorney in Wheaton could advise a DACA applicant regarding these documents. The forms involved in the application process require extensive information and also include requests for documentation.

An applicant must also attach a variety of supporting evidence, including school records, passports, travel records, and employment history, as well as an application fee. Once submitted, the government will determine if an applicant meets the qualifications for DACA coverage.

Rely on an Experienced Wheaton Attorney When Applying for DACA Coverage

There are dozens of forms and documents that must be submitted as part of a DACA application, and failing to include everything the government asks for could prevent someone from achieving this status. Fortunately, a Wheaton attorney could help you obtain DACA coverage by walking you through each step of your application. Call immediately to schedule a consultation.

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