Expanded DACA

Soon young adults who were brought to the United States as children will be eligible to apply for removal relief and employment authorization under the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. The expanded DACA was part of President Obama's directives announced by him in late November 2014. The expanded DACA will allow more undocumented immigrants who came or were brought to the United States as children to be protected from deportation and to be able to work lawfully and obtain a Social Security card. To be eligible for the expanded version of DACA the applicant must have come to the United States before the age of 16; they must have been physically present in the United States since before January 1, 2010; they must have been continuously present in the United States from January 1, 2010 until the time of filing an application for DACA; they must be currently enrolled in high school or have graduated from high school or have completed a GED program; they must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or 3 serious misdemeanors; and they must be at least 15 years old at the time of filing the application. There is no upper age limit to apply for DACA so even individuals who are in the forties can apply, as long as they meet the above criteria. Only people who meet the above guidelines should apply, as a denial of the application could trigger enforcement action. The new program will give the applicant employment permission and protection from removal for 3 years, after which the applicant can seek an extension. With approval of employment authorization, the applicant will be able to apply for a Social Security card and begin lawful employment, as well as apply for a Driver's License in Illinois. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service will begin accepting applications for expanded DACA on February 18, 2015 so now is the best time to gather the necessary documents to prove eligibility. Those documents include proof of physical presence from January 1, 2010 until the time of filing and it is advisable to have at least one document for every three-month period, a birth certificate, copy of passport, school records, and passport photos. If you need more information, give us a call – we offer free DACA consultations via phone, Skype or in person.


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