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U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order on June 15, 2012, the established a new immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This policy permitted qualified individuals protection against deportation when they came to the U.S. without documentation as a result of their parents’ actions.
Although the Trump Administration ended DACA in 2017, a federal court order fully reinstated the program in December 2020. Now DACA has the backing of the Biden Administration, and filings can continue.
If you need to seek deferred action and believe you qualify for protection, reach out to the Law Offices of Shamieh, Shamieh & Ternieden. Our DACA attorneys in San Francisco can help you throughout this important and sensitive filing process, ensuring you are fairly treated by the immigration system at each step along the way.
Who Can Qualify for Deferred Action?
Deferred action is an important immigration status that allows certain individuals to live and work in the U.S. when they don’t have any other official documentation. These individuals are unique because they are people who came to the U.S. without documentation – or overstayed a visa – as minors and as a result of their parents’ actions.
DACA qualification requirements include the following:
- When you came to the U.S., you were younger than 16 years old.
- When you arrived in the U.S., you were not inspected by customs.
- On June 15, 2012, you were younger than 31 years old.
- On June 15, 2012, you were physically within U.S. borders.
- You are currently within U.S. borders and will be when you request deferred action.
- You are currently attending school, have graduated high school, have earned a GED, or were honorably discharged from service in the U.S. military.
- You were never convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor. You were convicted of no more than three other less serious misdemeanors. You are not considered a threat to national security or public safety.
If you believe the criteria above apply to you, you may make a good candidate for deferred action under DACA. The best way to ascertain your situation is to speak with a DACA attorney in San Francisco, like one of ours at the Law Offices of Shamieh, Shamieh & Ternieden. We can help you determine whether or not you would make a good DACA candidate and help you through this complicated legal process.
Does Applying for Deferred Action Reveal My Immigration Status?
Yes. By applying for deferred action under DACA, you are informing the U.S. government that you wish to change your immigration status. Doing so implies that you are currently residing in the U.S. without documentation.
If immigration authorities decline your DACA application, you may be arrested, sent to removal proceedings, and even deported. Never apply for DACA or engage with immigration officials without acquiring legal representation from an attorney.
Can I Work When I Get Deferred Action?
If you can demonstrate an economic need to work, you can receive work authorization through DACA. This is an important way for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to build fulfilling lives and careers for themselves and their families.
Does DACA Come with a Green Card?
No. Unfortunately, DACA does not confer a legal immigration status like a Green Card or naturalization might. It also doesn’t provide an explicit path to citizenship, although this goal may be worked toward by other means. If you receive deferred action, you are effectively in a “limbo” where your immigration status is not legal yet cannot be used to arrest and deport you.
How Long Does Deferred Action Last?
Deferred action, once conferred, lasts for a period of two years. Regular renewals are required to maintain one’s deferred action status; often, renewals must be applied for at least several months in advance of the current period’s expiration date.
What Can a DACA Attorney in San Francisco Do for Me?
DACA can be a confusing and frightening legal process, so the first thing an attorney can do is help you make sense of your legal situation. He or she can then inform you of legal options that may be available to you to protect your way of life in the U.S., which includes applying for DACA initially or for a renewal.
If you want to learn more about what we at Law Offices of Shamieh, Shamieh & Ternieden can offer you, please reach out to us online to schedule a consultation.
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