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Sometimes, children are brought with their parents into the United States. They aren’t citizens, and their rights on U.S. soil are tenuous. Were you brought to the U.S. as a child? Does lawful status to live and work in the country elude you? Then, you may be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA delays the removal of certain undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors. It allows them to remain in the U.S. for two years (subject to renewal).

It does not provide lawful immigration status to eligible immigrants. But it qualifies them for a work permit, Social Security number, and protection against deportation.

DACA immigration attorneys help clients understand their rights under DACA. The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney are committed to providing comprehensive representation on your behalf.

Our attorneys understand that individuals facing immigration challenges need strong advocacy and representation. They can help you secure a pathway to remain in the country legally.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the DACA Program?

To qualify for DACA, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • You were under the age of thirty-one as of June 15, 2012
  • Your first arrival in the U.S. was before your 16th birthday
  • You have been resident in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007
  • You were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and while making your DACA request
  • You had no lawful status on June 15 15, 2012
  • You are currently in school, graduated from high school, or are an honorably discharged veteran
  • You have no criminal convictions and are not a threat to national security

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may consider you for renewal. You must prove that you have resided in the U.S. continuously since your most recent request for DACA was approved. You must also have no criminal convictions and are not a threat to public safety.

If you are ineligible under the following categories, you may still be eligible for another immigration status. A DACA immigration lawyer from the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney can analyze your case and advise you on your most suitable options.

What Documents Do You Need for Your DACA Application

When filing your DACA application for the first time, you may need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of identity – A valid passport, birth certificate with photo, school or military photo I.D., or any government-issued I.D.
  • Proof of your entry to the U.S. before your 16th birthday – Form I-94 (Lawful record of admission) or school records
  • Proof of your immigration status. – This may include Form I-94/I-94W (Arrival-departure forms)
  • Proof of your presence in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 – Utility bills, rent receipts, military, school, and employment records
  • Proof of your student or veteran status – School I.D., transcripts, or certificate of discharge from active duty
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How to File a DACA Application?

You may file Form I-821D (Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to request the USCIS to exercise prosecutorial discretion in your favor. You may also file a DACA renewal application.

The consideration for DACA or its renewal is done on an individual basis. So, the USCIS may request more information to decide your DACA status. They will also look at the eligibility requirements and the documents provided.

You may request renewal at least 120 days before your DACA status expires. If you file the request earlier (more than 150 days before the current DACA expiration), the USCIS may reject your submission and return it to you for resubmission.

If you are filing Form I-821D, you must also file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-765 Worksheet.

What Is the DACA Filing Process?

To begin filing a DACA application, you must correctly complete and sign Form I-821D, Form I-765, and Form I-765W Worksheet. You must pay the necessary filing fees. They cost $85 for Form I-821 and $410 for Form I-765.

Once received, the USCIS will begin reviewing your documents. They will also inform you about your biometric services appointment. Failure to attend your biometrics services appointment may lead to a denial of your application.

If you request a renewal, you should not submit additional documents. However, you may include documents involving a criminal history not previously submitted.

The USCIS may request additional documents to verify the information you provided. They may also contact government agencies, education institutions, or employers.

A failure to respond to the USCIS’s request for evidence on time may result in a denial of your application. Additionally, knowingly providing false information may result in a fine, jail time, or deportation.

What Happens After the USCIS Decision on DACA?

If the USCIS approves your application, they will notify you in writing of their decision. You will also receive a work permit (employment authorization document) in the mail. If they deny your DACA request, they will inform you of their decision and the reasons for the denial.

You cannot request an administrative appeal or a motion to reconsider the USCIS’s decision. The USCIS’s decision on your application is discretionary, and they will not review their decision to deny your request.

If they decide that your case involves fraud or public safety concerns, they may issue a Notice to Appear or refer the case for possible enforcement action.

What Are the Common Mistakes in DACA Applications You Can Avoid?

A DACA lawyer can help young immigrants avoid several common mistakes in their applications, thereby increasing the chances of approval by the federal government. For instance, they can ensure that all eligibility criteria under the DREAM Act are met, including educational requirements like General Education Development (GED) completion.

They can also guide applicants on the nuances of Advance Parole, work authorization, and the implications of certain criminal convictions, including what qualifies as a “significant misdemeanor.” Lawyers can help in timely DACA renewals, ensuring that applications are submitted well before the expiration date.

Given the changing policies under the Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security, legal status intricacies can be complex. A lawyer can provide updated advice, even assisting DACA recipients who are members of the armed forces or who need to obtain a driver’s license.

Why Hire an Experienced DACA Lawyer?

If you are seeking DACA status, it is vital to get the help of a qualified immigration lawyer. DACA lawyers from the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney are familiar with the intricacies of immigration law. They can provide legal counsel and guidance for your DACA application.

The DACA filing process involves complex eligibility requirements, which a DACA immigration lawyer can help you understand. They can explore your eligibility options and help you completely understand your situation. They can also review your immigration history to determine your options.

If DACA is the only option available, they can help you properly file the paperwork to receive DACA benefits.

Getting in Touch With Our DACA Immigration Lawyers?

Immigration law is complex and can be very time-consuming. If you are unsure about your current status, you can speak to an immigration attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, we not only understand immigration law but also its legal processes. The DACA process could be much easier to handle with the proper legal representation from our DACA attorneys.

We can ensure that all required documents are completed and signed correctly. You may face removal proceedings if you fail to meet the eligibility criteria. Our legal team can provide you with deportation defense and representation at the immigration court.

Attorney Christopher Chaney, based in Los Angeles, California, is here to help. For questions about DACA or work permit immigration matters, contact our immigration attorneys today.

Schedule Your Consultation

Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.