After a failed attempt to pass the DREAM Act, President Obama issued a memorandum on June 15, 2012, that directs Department of Homeland Security agencies to practice prosecutorial discretion toward persons that immigrated illegally as children. This became known as Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status or provide a pathway to citizenship. See the benefits to DACA beneficiaries.
Persons are eligible to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if they:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Applicants interested in requesting consideration for DACA must submit a package with the following three forms:
- Form I-821D, Consideration for Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-765WS Worksheet
All of the above forms can also be downloaded on the USCIS website.