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What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?

President Obama in 2012, started a new policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, for the undocumented youth. Undocumented youth who entered America as children and who hold high school degrees can apply for this deferred action status that will permit them to stay in the country for two years. This status is renewable and at the end of the two year period, immigrants in this temporary status can renew their status for two more years and stay back in the country. Undocumented youth in deferred action status can legally work and study in the United States until their status is valid but Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is not the same as the DREAM Act. However, undocumented youth between ages 16 and 31 alone can apply for this status.

This deferred action status is not permanent and it is only a temporary relief from enforcement. Likewise, deferred action status is not amnesty and this status will never permit the deferred action recipients to apply for US citizenship or for permanent resident status. Remember that, deferred action is only meant for the childhood arrivals and that is the reason why it is named “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”. If you are eligible for deferred action status, you will also become eligible for a United States work permit. You will be granted an employment authorization document and you can legally work in the country, until your status is valid. Likewise, you can renew your work permit at the time of renewing deferred action. But the immediate relatives of the deferred action recipients will not become eligible for derivative status and they cannot enjoy the benefits of DACA.

If you believe that you are eligible for a two year reprieve from deportation, you need to file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, with the USCIS along with an application for an employment authorization document. Nevertheless, you need to establish that you are eligible for this temporary status by submitting verifiable documentation, such as your school records, your expired non-immigrant visa, birth certificate, utility bills, etc. You need to establish that you were not above age 16 when you entered the United States and that you were below age 31 as of 15th June, 2012. You also need to demonstrate that you have been living in the United States since 15th June, 2007 till date. You will not become eligible for deferred action status, if you currently hold a non-immigrant visa and so you need to provide your expired non-immigrant visa and establish that your lawful status has already expired or that you entered America without inspection. Moreover, you need to prove that you have maintained clean criminal records.

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