Although the expanded DACA and DAPA programs have been delayed by legal challenges, the original DACA program from 2012 is still accepting applications.
What is DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA) & DEFERRED ACTION FOR PARENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY (DAPA)?
Administered by USCIS, DACA provides temporary relief from deportation for certain people brought to the United States as minors. It allows individuals who qualify to stay in the U.S. and obtain a work permit. DACA is granted on a case-by-case basis and does not provide a path to lawful permanent residence or U.S. citizenship. The DACA program was expanded by the November 20th announcement but the revisions are not yet in place. Check www.uscis.gov for updates.
Eights guidelines to qualify for the DACA program:
- Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. The expanded DACA program will eliminate the age ceiling.
- At least 15 years of age at the time of application or in removal proceedings.
- Entered the United States before the age of 16.
- Continuously resided in the United States (U.S.) since June 15, 2007 to the present time. The expanded DACA will change this date to January 1, 2010.
- Physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and at the time of applying for DACA.
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012.
- Either currently in school, graduated from high school, completed a GED or equivalent, or a veteran honorably discharged.
- 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.
In coming months, work visas will be extended from two to three years. Current DACA recipients should check with USCIS about how these changes will impact them. DACA recipients must reapply every two years. Recipients should start the process between 120-150 days before expiration.
Find videos about DACA in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Thai as well as receive legal advice in these languages at Asian American’s Advancing Justice and guides in Bengali, Urdu, and Hindi at South Asian Americans Leading Together.
Apply for DACA
To apply for DACA or renew DACA, visit www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.
If you need legal assistance in applying for DACA, explore NQAPIA’s legal resources.
Many LGBT young people, who were undocumented, have benefited from the DACA program and have gained legal status and work authorization.
DEFERRED ACTION FOR PARENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY (DAPA)
The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), administered by USCIS, provides temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). DAPA lasts for three years and is not yet accepting applicantions.
- Have a U.S. citizen or LPR son or daughter (by blood or adoption) as of November 20, 2014
- Continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 2010
- Physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of applying
- Have no lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014
- No criminal convictions (including a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors), no gang involvement or terrorism, not a recent unlawful entrants, and others
- Pass a background check that includes a criminal and immigration background check
Check www.uscis.gov to confirm start dates and the application process.
Now, parents of LGBT people can benefit and gain legal status.
How do I prepare?
- Save money (at least $465 for the application fee).
- Get proof of identity such as a government-issued passport, birth certificate or ID card.
- Gather proof of relationship to U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) son or daughter.
- Gather proof of how long you have been in the U.S.
- Gather any criminal records.
- If you have a criminal conviction, check with an attorney to expunge, vacate, or modify this conviction.
- If you have a prior deportation or removal order, check with an attorney.
- Stay informed and know your rights!
For more information go to http://nilc.org/toptenwaystoprep.html.
Where can I find assistance to apply?
If you are in need of legal assistance, view NQAPIA’s list of legal resources that are free or low-cost. The specific groups listed here have not been vetted by NQAPIA to be queer friendly. Be sure to seek assistance from trusted clinics, and be aware of scams.
If you need help finding assistance, fill out NQAPIA’s DACA intake form, and we will help match you with free legal assistance.