DACA Restored: USCIS Now Accepting New Applications
On December 7, 2020, USCIS has finally agreed to follow the federal court instruction they have received and has restored the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. With the administration change coming in January 2021, we expect that the DACA program will continue beyond the end of the Trump presidency.
USCIS has agreed to accept first time requests for DACA. Those who can apply must meet the following requirements:
- Under age 31 on June 15, 2012
- Come to the US prior to reaching age 16
- Remained continuously in the US from June 15, 2007 to present
- Entered the US without inspection or legal status expired as of June 15, 2012
- Currently in school, graduated from high school, obtained a GED, enrolled in an accredited program to obtain a GED, or military service
- No barring criminal record
- At least age 15 on the day of filing, unless you have a final order of removal
Those granted DACA previously can also file to renew. Also, those who were given DACA on a 1-year basis will have their work authorization extended to 2 years. USCIS will provide additional guidance for how this will be accomplished.
DACA Advanced Parole
Also, we are very excited that they have agreed to restore the option for Advance Parole for DACA recipients. Advance Parole is a document issued by USCIS that allows for international travel and return to the US without the need for any other US government document, such as a visa.
Those who wish to apply for Advance Parole will need a currently valid passport from their country of nationality. A DACA recipient must be able to show a compelling reason for travel to have a reasonable chance for approval. The travel must be necessary for a humanitarian purpose, such as to visit a close relative who is ill, or for an educational or employment purpose.
The Future of DACA
We at Davis & Associates applaud USCIS for backing down on their hardline stance against such a beneficial program for so many people. It opens doors for people who came or were brought here at a young age to be able to pursue and realize their hopes and dreams for the future without worry about the looming risks of deportation. It allows them to participate fully in the economy and stop living in the shadows.
Contact Davis & Associates for a Free DACA Consultation
If you are now eligible for initial DACA, renewal of your DACA status or would like to discuss Advance Parole, we’re here to help. Schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers today to see how you can pursue the restored DACA program in its fullest.