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U.S. Deferred Action For Childhood Arrival (DACA) Lawyers: Helping You Stay In The U.S. Through The Deferred Action Process

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is designed to give immigrants protection from deportation and a work permit, but there are restrictions to these benefits. Not only is DACA restricted to immigrants who came to the United States as youth and are undocumented, but it also has to be renewed every two years. If you’re eligible for DACA, it’s important to understand how it works, what benefits it provides and how you can take advantage of the program. Fortunately, DACA lawyers can help you navigate the challenges of applying for and renewing DACA. If you have questions about what DACA is, how it works, DACA requirements or how you can apply, here’s everything you need to know from the experts.

What Is DACA, And What Is Its Purpose?

DACA is a program that’s specifically designed to provide protection and opportunities for undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States since they were children. The purpose of DACA is to protect immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, since they had no say in the matter at the time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that DACA doesn’t grant these immigrants legal status or provide them with a path to citizenship. Instead, DACA is simply designed to make sure immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children can live and work in the country under the United States immigration law.

The DACA program was started in 2012 by President Barack Obama. While there have been attempts to end the program and stop accepting DACA applications, eligible immigrants can continue to apply for DACA, thanks to a ruling by a federal judge in December 2020. While it’s estimated that there are about 1.8 million immigrants who are eligible for DACA, there are only about 800,000 enrolled members. In order to apply for DACA, you will need to fill out Form I-821D and Form I-765. In addition to filling out and submitting these forms, you will also have to pay an application fee of $495 to apply for DACA.

What Are The Benefits Of DACA?

Living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant can be a difficult process because there are so many things that require a social security number, work permit or driver’s license. The biggest benefit of DACA is the fact that it allows some immigrants to obtain these essential documents so they can work and live a normal life in the U.S. Despite the fact that DACA can allow immigrants to work and do other things legally in the United States, it’s important to remember that those immigrants aren’t granted legal citizenship through DACA. Instead, DACA protects DACA-eligible immigrants from legal action that they might otherwise be subject to as unlawful citizens.

The fact that deferred action benefits from DACA are provided in two-year increments does mean that DACA has to be renewed on a regular basis. The application fee must be paid with each DACA application, and requests are typically processed within 120 days of submitting the application. Under current DACA rules, both the Employment Authorization Document and the deferred action benefits last for two years. You can find the latest DACA application forms on the USCIS website, and a deportation lawyer can help you if you’re having trouble applying for or qualifying for DACA.

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What Are The DACA Requirements, And Who Is Eligible?

One thing that’s important to understand about DACA is that there are specific requirements you must meet. Individuals who don’t meet these requirements will have to take the traditional path to working as immigrants in the United States. In order to qualify for DACA, there are seven requirements you must meet:

  • Below the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Came to the United States before the age of 16
  • Have resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, to the present
  • Was present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of submitting a DACA application
  • Was undocumented as of June 15, 2012
  • Currently enrolled in or graduated from school or received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a major misdemeanor offense or three or more nonsignificant misdemeanor offenses and do not pose a threat to national or public safety

The tricky part about DACA is that the requirements are very strict, so it’s important to make sure you meet these requirements. An adjustment of status immigration lawyer can help individuals who don’t qualify for DACA find a path to becoming lawful citizens of the United States.

What Is The Status Of The DACA Program Today?

Although DACA was challenged repeatedly by President Donald Trump, the most recent decision regarding DACA came from a federal judge in December 2020. This federal ruling confirmed that first-time DACA-eligible immigrants could continue applying for and receiving their benefits. As of 2021, DACA is still available to immigrants who meet the seven requirements we mentioned above, and the benefits last two years instead of the single year they originally lasted. You can find out more about the current status of DACA and what you can do to apply by visiting the USCIS website.

How Much Does It Cost To File A DACA Application?

Cost is an important consideration when you’re filing a DACA application because it isn’t particularly cheap. A DACA application currently costs $495 in 2021, which includes employment authorization and biometric services. Because DACA has to be renewed on a regular basis, you will have to pay that $495 fee each time you file an application to renew your DACA benefits. When you break down the cost of DACA, however, it only comes out to about $248 per year, so you don’t have to spend too much to retain your benefits.

I Have Never Had DACA. Can I Apply For DACA Now?

President Trump made several attempts to dismantle DACA or change the way it works, including attempting to restrict applications from first-time DACA applicants. Because of the federal ruling in December 2020, first-time DACA applicants are still eligible to apply for DACA in 2020. Not only have the restrictions on first-time DACA applicants been lifted but there have also been changes regarding the renewal period, the duration of benefits and the travel restrictions.

How To Apply For Deferred Action

Your application for deferred action involves the completion of three forms:

  • Form I-821D – Consideration of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals
  • Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-765W

These forms are submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with a filing fee and two passport-style photos.

How Can A Consumer Law Group Immigration Lawyer Help With DACA?

If you want to work and study in the United States but you came here unlawfully as a child, DACA can help you get the opportunities you deserve to follow your dreams. However, it’s important to keep in mind that applying for DACA benefits won’t make you a United States citizen, and it won’t put you on the path to citizenship, either.

Applying for DACA can be a complex process, especially if you’re not sure if you meet the requirements. A Consumer Law Group immigration lawyer can help simplify the application process so you can get your DACA benefits faster. Take a look at our testimonials to see some of the immigrants we’ve helped apply for and receive DACA benefits.

Don’t Apply For Deferred Action On Your Own

Applying for deferred action benefits on your own is a huge risk that may put your future in danger. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can provide you with peace of mind. Let us help you with your application. If you need help applying for DACA to work or study in the United States, contact Consumer Law Group at 312-766-7777 to get the help you need. You can also email us.