Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)



2018 UPDATE:

In January and February 2018, the federal court  ordered the USCIS to continue to accept DACA applications.  The USCIS will continue to accept applications for renewal of DACA for those who had applied before, but will not accept new applications. 

USCIS is only accepting new DACA requests if you had previously received DACA and it expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or if your most recent DACA grant was previously terminated. If this applies to you, you cannot file a renewal request, but you can file a new initial DACA request and provide information about your previous grant.

If you are renewing your DACA benefits, you must meet the following qualifying requirements:

  • You must not have left the USA on or after August 15, 2012, without first having received advance parole
  • You must have lived continuously in the USA from the time you submitted the initial DACA request until the present time
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors
  • You must not pose a threat to national security or public safety

To apply for DACA you must also apply and pay for an Employment Authorization Document (Work Permit). But, the USCIS will not accept applications for advance parole (travel).

From this point down, this post has been archived, if you have immediate concerns or questions, please contact us.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, commonly referred to as DACA, was an executive order instituted by President Obama in 2012. DACA protects immigrants who entered the US without proper documentation, or who overstayed their visas..

If you are granted Deferred Action, you are safe from deportation for at least a two year period. That period can be renewed repeatedly. You can now work, obtain a driver’s license, and come out of the shadows.

To qualify for DACA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012.
  • You must have been under 16 years of age when you entered the U.S.
  • You must have lived in the US continuously from June 15, 2007 to present.
  • You must be in school, graduated from High School, have a GED, or been honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor.

Deferred Action can be granted for people who are currently in deportation proceedings as well as individuals who have never been in deportation proceedings.


It is important to be aware and informed before applying for deferred action. Because DACA was implemented through executive action it can be revoked by a future president. Additionally, if you apply for DACA and do not meet the deferred action criteria, it is possible for you to be placed in deportation proceeds. It is essential you discuss your case with a qualified immigration attorney before applying for DACA., Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

If you feel DACA applies to you, it is important to discuss your case with a qualified attorney. There are many well-meaning organizations offering free advice relating to deferred action. However they do not have the experience or the training necessary to help you make the most informed decision possible. The Law Office of Malathi Benjamin has been successfully advocating for immigration clients for over 15 years.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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