Under President Obama’s immigration administrative action, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has been expanded.
Expanded DACA gives more DREAMers and young people an opportunity to apply for DACA. The expanded DACA program will allow an estimated 330,000 additional individuals who came to the U.S. as children to qualify.
The 2012 DACA program limited eligibility to individuals who entered before June 15, 2007 and who were born on or after June 16, 1981. Under expanded DACA, individuals will qualify if they have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010 regardless of their current age.
Another benefit of expanded DACA is that the period of DACA and work authorization is increased from 2 years to 3 years.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR EXPANDED DACA?
People who came to the U.S. before age 16 who:
- Lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010
- Were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 without immigration status
- Are any age now
- Are currently in school, graduated from high school, obtained a GED, are taking a qualified GED course, or were honorably discharged from the military
- Have not been convicted of certain crimes and do not pose a threat to national security of public safety
WHEN CAN I APPLY?
Due to a court case against expanded DACA and DAPA, it is not yet possible to apply for expanded DACA. USCIS will announce the application date in the coming months. Stay tuned. Don’t give money to “notarios” or scammers who promise to help you apply for DAPA. Sign up with iAmerica to receive the alert.
HOW IS EXPANDED DACA DIFFERENT THAN 2012 DACA?
- Expanded DACA eliminates the upper age limit on DACA applicants. The 2012 DACA permitted only those less than 31 years old to apply on June 15, 2012. Expanded DACA allows people of any age, as long as they are older than 15 years old, to apply for DACA.
- Expanded DACA changed the residence requirements and allows people to apply for DACA if they have lived in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. The 2012 DACA required people to have lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
- Expanded DACA extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to 3 years. The 2012 DACA provided 2 years of deferred action and work permission.
WHAT ARE THE BOTTOM-LINE BENEFITS OF EXPANDED DACA?
- Protects you from being arrested and deported for three years and can be renewed
- Provides an employment authorization document that will allow you to work legally
- Allows you to apply for a social security number
- In almost all states, you will be able to qualify for a driver’s license
- In many states, you will be able to qualify for in-state tuition
- You may be able to apply to the government for a travel document that will allow you to leave and return to the U.S.