On June 15, 2012, President Obama’s administration announced that certain immigrant students in the United States without legal status would be eligible for deferred action, a temporary protection from deportation. This administrative relief is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA.) Individuals who qualify were be granted deferred action for a two-year period, and receive permission to work in the United States. Once granted DACA status, it is renewable every two years.

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of DACA and a new administrative relief program, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The implementation of the 2014 programs is pending the outcome of a court case filed in Texas, and you cannot apply for the new programs.

Note: USCIS is still accepting and renewing applications for individuals who meet the requirements in the 2012 program.

On November 8, 2016 Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. He has pledged to end DACA when he becomes President. Trump will not be President until he is inaugurated on January 20, 2017. Until then, DACA will remain in place and USCIS will continue to process both initial and renewal DACA requests.

For those who have not yet applied for DACA, the processing of those applications is taking long time, and it is likely that your application will not be adjudicated until after January 2017. It is also possible the DACA program will not exist by then.  Our guidance for new applicants at this point is to not apply. If your DACA application is expiring, you can apply to renew your work authorization.

To be eligible for 2012 DACA program, an applicant must:

  • have entered the United States under the age of 16;
  • have been physically present in the United States as of June 15, 2012, and have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007;
  • have been younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • be “in school”, have a high school degree or GED certificate, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard;
  • not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant misdemeanor”, three misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat national security or public safety; and
  • be at least 15 years old, unless that the person is in removal proceedings.

Eligibility and Preparing for Deferred Action

Why You Should Apply

Find Free Legal Help with DACA

Other Resources


November 21, 2016