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Law Offices of Patrick C. McGuinness, LLC

DACA recipient in Plainfield NJ - Law Offices of Patrick C. McGuinness, LLCDACA (or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is an immigration provision for people who came to the U.S. as children. An immigration attorney can help you navigate the DACA system, but here are a few basics.

What Is DACA? What Does DACA Do?

DACA is a program intended to protect immigrant minors and immigrants who were brought to this country as minors.

DACA primarily provides qualifying young undocumented immigrants with both:

  1. Protection from deportation; and,
  2. A work permit.

Who Is Eligible For DACA? What Are The Requirements For DACA?

In order to be eligible for relief under DACA, you have to meet certain qualifications. These qualifications can be difficult to understand, and an immigration attorney can help explain them further. However, on a basic level, in order to qualify for DACA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You were under 31 years old on June 15th, 2012
  • You were physically present in the United States on June 15th, 2012 (and at the time that you make your DACA request)
  • You first came to the United States as a child (i.e., before your 16th birthday)
  • You have lived continuously in the United States since at least June 15th, 2007 to the present day.
  • You entered the U.S. without being detained or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15th, 2012
  • You are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces (or Coast Guard)
  • You have never been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind
  • You are not deemed to pose a risk or threat to national security or public safety.

Which Convictions Would Make Me Ineligible For DACA?

DHS is rather strict about which convictions may disqualify someone from DACA. As mentioned above, in addition to felony convictions of any kind, misdemeanors involving the following are considered “significant” and will likely disqualify someone from DACA:

  • Burglary
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual abuse or exploitation
  • Unlawful possession of firearms
  • Driving under the influence
  • Drug distribution or trafficking

In addition, any three misdemeanors and any misdemeanors that resulted in a sentence of over 90 days in jail, no matter they are regarding, will be considered “significant” and may be disqualifying.

Does DACA Expire?

Yes, DACA does expire. It must be renewed every two years.

Currently, there are no new DACA applications being accepted. The only DACA-related applications being accepted are renewals of previously approved DACA status.

How Does DACA Renewal Work?

You can apply to renew your DACA if:

  • You currently have DACA
  • You previously had DACA, but it expired
  • You previously had DACA, but it was terminated

Importantly, you cannot age out of DACA. So long as you met the age requirements when you first applied, you can continue to renew or reinstate your initial application even if you are now over 31 years old.

The DACA renewal process involves filling out several forms (including Form 1-821D, Form I-765, and Form I-76WS), paying a fee of $495.00, and submitting copies of several documents, and attending a biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment, among other potential supplementary steps.

Ideally, you should apply for renewal at least 150 days before your DACA expires, which will prevent you from being vulnerable to deportation and working on an expired permit between when your old DACA expires and your new DACA is accepted.

Are you a DACA recipient in Plainfield, NJ? Do you need help with your DACA renewal? Are you looking for immigration help generally? If so, reach out to experienced, knowledgeable New Jersey Immigration Attorney Patrick McGuinness today for a consultation on your case.

Law Offices of Patrick C. McGuinness, LLC

Get Your Questions Answered Today
(908) 645-1006

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