President Obama announced several executive orders on November 20, 2014. In this memo, eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was expanded. There are three major changes to DACA:
- Age Cap Removed – Previously DACA eligibility was only available to applicants who were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012. In other words, applicants must have been born by June 15, 1981. The age restriction will no longer apply. (However, anyone that arrived in the United States over the age of 16 will still not be eligible for DACA.) There is no maximum age.
- Continuous Residence Requirement Adjusted – Previously a DACA applicant must have been living in the United States from June 15, 2007, to be considered eligible. That continuous residence date has been adjusted to January 1, 2010, to be consistent with other programs. As a result, many more recent arrivals will be eligible for DACA.
- DACA Period Extended to Three Years – Previously DACA recipients were provided two-year grants. Effective November 24, 2014, relief from deportation and work authorization will be provided in three-year increments. So all applicants approved for DACA (initial or renewal) after November 24, 2014, will be provided with a three-year grant. If you were already granted a two-year renewal, USCIS may consider ways to extend your grant to three years.
Unfortunately, President Obama's executive orders on expanded DACA have been challenged through the court system. An injunction has halted the implementation of the program. Click here for the latest updates.