A person can apply for DACA if they:
- Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Came to the US before their 16th birthday;
- Were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Have continuously lived in the US since June 15, 2007;
- Are in school, graduated from high school, or have a Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED);
- Were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces;
- Have not been convicted of certain crimes
A person can apply for DACA using the USCIS form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. A DACA renewal package usually consists of the I-821D, I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and I-765 worksheet.
Form I-765 is required even if the applicant will not be working. At present, the DACA application fee, including employment authorization and biometric services is $495, according to the USCIS.
Since its introduction in June 2012, DACA has helped around 800,000 undocumented people, report Tom K. Wong et.al. for the Center for American Progress. Research suggests that the average hourly wage of DACA recipients increased by 69% since approval, Wong et.al. adds.
Besides the opportunity to receive employment, DACA may allow recipients to obtain other benefits, such as in-state tuition and a driver’s license. The acceptance of new applicants is good news for the over 1,000,000 eligible immigrants.
While there is still a possibility that the DHS will contest the ruling, the change of regime is expected to bring more good news for dreamers.
Richard Herman is a nationally renowned immigration lawyer, author, and activist. He has dedicated his life to advocating for immigrants and helping change the conversation on immigration. He is the founder of the Herman Legal Group, an immigration law firm launched in 1995 and recognized in U.S. World News & Report’s “Best Law Firms in America.”
He is the co-author of the acclaimed book, Immigrant, Inc. —Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). Richard’s poignant commentary has been sought out by many national media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, FOX News (The O’Reilly Factor), National Public Radio, Inc., National Lawyers Weekly, PC World, Computerworld, CIO, TechCrunch, Washington Times, San Francisco Chronicle and InformationWeek.