Law Offices of Nooney Roberts Hewett & Nowicki :


In 2012, President Barack Obama's administration issued an executive order to establish Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This memorandum established a non-congressionally approved program that allowed qualified persons who entered the United States as minors and satisfied the program's qualifications to submit a request to USCIS to qualify for the program's benefits. 

DACA recipients are people who came to the United States at a very early age. Most of these people were ignorant of their illegal immigration status until they attempted to obtain a driver's license or apply for university financial aid. These grantees are also known as DREAMERS, a term taken from the DREAM Act, which Congress failed to enact many times. 

Approval of an application confers a two-year postponement of removal from the nation, work permit eligibility, and eligibility for federal benefits such as Medicare and Social Security. Additionally, those who qualify may reapply and renew their DACA privileges every two years. Every two years, the application price for DACA is $495. Although this program does not provide a road to citizenship, it has provided about 800,000 illegal immigrants with a reprieve from deportation and enhanced their quality of life via economic opportunities. 

Who Qualifies for DACA? 

Since the program's inception in 2012 and until the end of 2019, 2,555,033 DACA petitions have been approved, while 183,187 have been refused. According to data released by USCIS, more than ninety percent of DACA applicants have been granted. Even if you have been or are now involved in removal proceedings, you may apply for deferred action provided you fulfill the DACA standards. 

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if you match the following conditions, you may be eligible for DACA: 

  • You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 
  • You entered the United States before becoming 16 years old. 
  • You have resided continuously in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the present.  ▪ You physically occupied a United States location on June 15, 2012

At the time you submit your DACA application to USCIS:

  • You had no legal status on June 15, 2012, or if you had, it had expired as of that date. 
  • You are either presently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school or acquired a high school diploma, possess a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged member of the United States Coast Guard or Armed Forces. 
  • You do not have a felony, serious misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanor convictions. 
  • You are not a threat to public safety and national security. 

To qualify for DACA, you must also be at least 15 years old unless you are in removal proceedings. If you match all these criteria, you are qualified for DACA and can apply immediately by completing form I-821D with USCIS.

Benefits of DACA

After your application has been granted by USCIS, the U.S. government is prohibited from pursuing deportation proceedings against you for two years. Recipients of DACA are urged to apply for renewal four to five months before the expiration of the two-year period since it may take up to 120 days to gain approval. The opportunity to receive authorization for a work permit is an additional significant feature of DACA. Applicants seeking a work visa must demonstrate to USCIS that they have an economic need to work and that a job is economically necessary. DACA recipients may also be eligible for a driver's license and in-state tuition at public colleges. 

These advantages provided by DACA have contributed to the recipient's income, the state's economy, and the recipient's education. Prior to the adoption of this immigration policy, participants of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would not have been able to contribute to the economy of the United States or the social progress of communities in a number of American cities. 

Risks of DACA

Although DACA gives its beneficiaries good possibilities, the program does not provide several other perks. DACA approval does not confer permanent residence status to its participants. In addition, it does not offer a path to U.S. citizenship or grant legal status. 

Consequently, a person who applies for DACA may be subject to deportation procedures. Therefore, it is advised to speak with an immigration attorney to examine the risks and advantages of applying for DACA. 

The hiring of an attorney is not required to file a DACA application. However, many persons may face legal concerns during the application procedure that might compromise their acceptance. Common obstacles that might prohibit an applicant from receiving DACA acceptance may relate to the following queries. 

  • Have you been convicted of a crime before? 
  • Have you been convicted of a "serious misdemeanor" in the past? 
  • Have you been convicted of three or more misdemeanors in the past? 

If you replied "yes" to any of the above questions, you should consult with an expert immigration and criminal defense attorney. The experts at Nooney, Roberts, Hewett & Nowicki can assist you in comprehending the complexities of the DACA application process and determining the optimal course of action for applicants with underlying criminal concerns.

Call Nooney, Roberts, Hewett & Nowicki Today!

The attorneys at Nooney, Roberts, Hewett & Nowicki assist individuals with their DACA applications. Call us at (904) 398-1992 or fill out a quick form to schedule a free initial consultation with our aggressive immigration attorneys! ¡Hablamos español!

1680 Emerson St
Jacksonville, FL 32207
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