A major announcement was recently made about preserving and fortifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. On Monday, October 31, 2022, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made its final rule regarding DACA which ultimately benefits immigrants in the U.S. This final rule protects eligible immigrants from deportation and allows them to work authorization within the U.S. This final rule is based on formal regulation and helps maintain DACAS’s existing criteria. The DACA program was created to protect immigrants who illegally entered the country without legal status as children. If you believe you fit the existing criteria for the DACA program, contact a qualified New Jersey Immigration Lawyer who can help you figure out if you are eligible and help you through the application process.
Does the final rule change who qualifies for the DACA program?
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an administrative relief program that protects youth immigrants who unlawfully entered the U.S. from deportation and helps them acquire work authorization. This program protects immigrants who illegally came to the U.S. as children. The final rule does not change who qualifies for the DACA program, it maintains the existing criteria. Certain requirements restrict immigrants from this program. To be accepted into the DACA program immigrants must meet these qualifications:
- you unlawfully came to the U.S. when you were 16 or younger
- you are in school, graduated, completed your GED, are enrolled in a trade or technical school, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Military
- you have never been convicted of a felony, any serious misdemeanors, or more than three misdemeanors
- As of June 15, 2012
- you were under the age of 31
- you were physically present in the U.S. at the time you filed your application
- you entered the U.S without the proper documentation before this date
- As of June 15, 2007
- you have continuously lived in the U.S. until the present day
If you do not meet this criterion, you are not eligible for the DACA program. However, if you do meet the requirements you may be eligible for the DACA program. If you are eligible you need a skilled and knowledgeable attorney who can help you through the complex application process.
Is the DACA program a pathway to U.S. citizenship?
Although DACA recipients are protected from deportation this does not automatically make them U.S. citizens. The DACA program is not a pathway to U.S. citizenship. DACA recipients are not afforded legal status or permanent residency. Nevertheless, DACA recipients can apply for things such as a driver’s license, social security number, and work permits. They may be awarded these benefits if they are approved. Although the program does not lead to U.S. citizenship, DACA recipients can renew their status every two years.
If you meet the above requirements, reach out to one of our dedicated and trusted team members who can help you successfully navigate the intricate application process. Our firm is committed to helping immigrants succeed in the U.S.