Who is Eligible for DACA?

Who is eligible for DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program offers eligible individuals the ability to live and work in the United States under deferred action for a period of two years. The program is designed to help those individuals brought here as children. Specific qualifications must be met in order to establish eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

If you have previously been granted Deferred Action and are looking for information on how to renew your DACA, read here.

To be eligible for deferred action, you must:

  • Have been born on or after June 16, 1981 (outside the U.S.).

  • Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.

  • Have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.

  • Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.

  • Not have a lawful immigration status. To meet this requirement (1) you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired as of June 15, 2012; and (2) you must not have a lawful immigration status at the time of your application.

  • Be at least 15 years old. If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may request deferred action even if you are not yet 15 years old.

  • Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, or “be in school” on the date that you submit your deferred action application. See below for more information about meeting the “be in school” requirement.

  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense. A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

  • Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses. See below for more information about offenses that may disqualify you.

  • Not pose a threat to national security or public safety. (DHS has not defined what these terms mean but has indicated that they include gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the U.S.)

  • Pass a background check.

What if I am older than 31, have dropped out of high school, or have not enrolled in college? Would I still be eligible for a DACA renewal?

Each case is as unique as you are as an individual. For more information on some commonly asked questions, please read more in our section on DACA eligibility FAQs. If you would like to renew your DACA, and have specific questions about your case, please contact JCS Immigration and Visa Services for your free initial consultation with one of our experienced immigration lawyers.