What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

Being an immigrant can be quite stress especially if the issues relating to documentation were not handled well. Violating any of the immigration laws can lead to shameful deportation of an individual or can even lead to harsh legal repercussions. However there are times when a violation occurs without the intentions of an individual and good news is that there is a well-structured system that provides protection under such circumstances. Deferral Action is a trusted saviour that one can rely on to get protection from a possible deregistration process.


Deferral Action is a policy that has been developed by the Department of Homeland Security and its main purpose is to give reprieve to certain people who unintentionally violated the immigration rules. The policy allows such individuals to continue living and working in US and it can be granted to an individual who is in a removal proceeding, has final order of removal or even to an individual who has never been in the removal proceedings. One such scenario is of children who have been illegally brought into the states and have grown up in United States. Such people are deemed innocent since they did not have any responsibilities of what happened to them and it will be barbaric to punish them.

DHS saw it necessary to create such a policy which will take care of individual interests of this group of people. To ensure that the whole thing is implemented smoothly, there are a guidelines which should be followed to the latter. While applying for Deferral Act (click here for resources on DACA), you should keep in mind that it is not a direct ticket to attaining permanent citizenship as it can be revoked anytime. In order to enjoy the full benefits that come with the policy, you are required to file an application together with an application for employment authorization. After your application has been approved, you will have all the legal rights to work in the United States.

Eligibility for DACA

Here are the criteria that one should meet when applying for Deferral Action.

• The person should have entered the United States while under the age of 16 years old.

• You must be under the age of 31 years old as of 15 June 2012.

• Must have been continuously living in the United States for five years prior to June 15 2012. This rule is not affected if one made small trips outside the country for humanitarian reasons.

• Should have either graduated from a high school, an equivalent to a high school or is a veteran of the United States Army. You should either have a GED or have been honourably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces.

• You should not have been convicted of any kind of felony or you should not have more than three misdemeanours. While doing a background check, there should be nothing to prove that you are a threat to the public.

Misdemeanours that can disqualify a person

DHS considers the following misdemeanours significant regardless of the sentence that was imposed.

• Domestic violence

• Burglary

• Illegal possession of firearms

• Drug trafficking

• Sexual abuse

• Driving under influence

Any other offence that led to a jail term of more than 90 days is also taken into account during the application process.

Age Factors to consider

At the time of application, the applicant must be at least 15 years old though still there are a number of exceptions that apply to this rule. Such limitations include if the applicant is on the removal proceedings, has an order of voluntary departure or has a final order of removal.

While filing for the Deferral Action, there are documents which you must provide so that your eligibility is deeply assessed. Such documents include the following.

– Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Document.

– Form I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

– Documents that prove your age, date of entry, proof of continuous stay and your education level.

Applying for Deferral Action is not a process that should be taken lightly and it is always advisable to seek help from a legal attorney before embarking on this process. If your application is rejected, there is no room for appealing it but instead you will be given a chance to file your application again. USCIS can review your application if you respond in good time and if you are ready to provide additional documents to back up your application.