In June of 2012, President Obama announced a new program to help undocumented students who came to the United States as children. This program is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA for short) or the Dream Act. Those who qualify under DACA have come to be known as The Dreamers.
This program allows those who qualify for DACA to receive prosecutorial discretion (meaning they will not be deported) and to obtain a work permit. The work permit is valid for two years.
Initial Application for a Work Permit
To qualify for initial DACA, you must show you:
- 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;
- Had no lawful status on 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, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
You have to provide proof that you meet these requirements to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If USCIS determines that you qualify for DACA, you will be sent a DACA approval notice and a work permit that is valid for two years.
The current President Trump (choose either the current president or President Trump) has instructed USCIS to no longer accept initial applications for a work permit through DACA. However, if you have ever had a work permit through DACA in the past, you can apply to renew your work permit.
DACA Renewal Application for a Work Permit
If your work permit through DACA is going to expire soon, you can request to renew your work permit. The renewal process is not quite as complicated as an initial application. For a renewal, you do not have to prove all of the elements of DACA again. You just have to prove that you continue to meet the qualifications since the issuance of your last work permit.
If your DACA has ever been terminated, or if you let your work permit expire for one year or more, then you do have to apply as an initial DACA application to get a new work permit.
The Immigration Attorneys at Vanderwall Immigration share your struggles and your dreams. Some of our own staff are Dreamers. We care about you and your families. If you need help renewing your work permit through a DACA application, please call us at 503-206-8414.