Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Attorneys in Greenbelt, Maryland
If your family immigrated to the United States when you were still a minor and you do not yet have legal status, you may be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, there are some requirements to request DACA consideration that you should be aware of before you get started.
By working with a local immigration attorney, you can be confident that you meet all the criteria and that your application is completed correctly. Additionally, if your application is denied for any reason or if you need help with your DACA renewal, a lawyer can help you with an appeal or reapplication. If you’re in the Greenbelt, Maryland, area or anywhere throughout Prince George's County, contact us today at The Anyere Law Firm, LLC for trusted legal assistance.
Understanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
The DACA program was first implemented in 2012 under President Obama as a way to direct immigration enforcement’s efforts on those who truly pose a threat to the country and provide protection to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were only children when they moved to the United States. The program was halted briefly under the Trump administration in 2017, but this block was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2020. Those who qualify for DACA status earn protection for two years from deportation and may also qualify for employment authorization to receive a work permit. DACA recipients are also permitted to renew their status every two years.
Requirements to Request Consideration
There are several criteria for requesting consideration for DACA, and it’s essential you meet each one before you decide to apply. These requirements include you having to prove the following:
You came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday and must have been born on or after June 16, 1981.
You’ve continuously resided in the country from 2007 until you filed your application.
You don’t have an unlawful immigration status.
You were physically in the country on June 15, 2012.
You must show that you’re either currently enrolled in school, have successfully graduated high school or earned your GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. military.
You must not pose a threat to national safety. For example, if you’ve been convicted of a felony, certain misdemeanors (such as domestic violence, burglary, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence), or have more than three other misdemeanors, you will likely be denied DACA status.
The DACA Process
The DACA process is not overly complicated, but it’s important to get it right the first time to avoid delays and potential denials.
The first and most important step is to acquire all the pertinent documentation that will prove your status in the country, as you’ll need to include copies of these with your application. These documents include the following:
Proof of identity.
Proof that you entered the U.S. before you turned 16.
Proof of your immigration status.
Proof that you were present in the U.S. since 2007 and on June 15, 2012 (this can be done through school, military, or employment records; utility bills; passport entries; or, bank or other purchase transactions.)
Proof that you completed high school or that you were honorably discharged from the military or Coast Guard.
You will then need to fill out two forms, I-821D and I-765, and file them with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once your application has been received, you’ll be directed to go to an Application Support Center (ASC) to have your biometric data recorded.
Renewal of DACA
If you wish to renew your DACA status for another two years, you must submit your renewal application far enough ahead of time for USCIS to process and approve your request before your current status expires. It’s recommended that you do this 120 to 150 days before the expiration date. On average, it takes 120 days to process. You can renew through the mail or online, but you must create a USCIS online account first.
If you fail to submit your renewal request in this time period, you may still be able to apply. However, this may only be granted if you apply within one year of your current expiration date. If it’s beyond one year from the expiration date, you will have to apply as a new candidate. Most renewals will be approved if you can prove the following:
You didn’t travel outside the U.S. illegally.
You have continued to live in the U.S.
You have not been convicted of a crime.
However, even if you’re fairly certain you meet all the criteria, it can still be helpful to work with an immigration attorney.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Attorney in Greenbelt, Maryland
If you’d like to speak with an experienced immigration attorney about applying for or renewing your DACA status, reach out to us at The Anyere Law Firm, LLC in Greenbelt, Maryland. We also serve through Prince George’s County, and we are ready to work with you today.