The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been expanded by President Obama to allow Individuals with no lawful immigration status to receive deferred action and employment authorization for three years (up from two years), and allows qualifying individuals to be considered for DACA if they:

  1. Entered the United States before the age of 16;
  2. Have lived in the United States continuously since at least January 1, 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007;
  3. Are of any age (removes the requirement to have been under 31 on June 15, 2012); and
  4. Meet all of the other DACA guidelines.

USCIS will begin accepting applications for Expanded DACA on February 18, 2015 (Remember, USCIS will not accept requests for expanded DACA before that date.)

Expanded DACA is great news for those individuals who came to the country as children (under the age of 16) and were left out of the initial program merely because they were over the age of 31 on June 15, 2012.  The age limit has now been lifted!  Anyone, no matter their age, who entered the U.S. before the age of 16 — and meet all of the other requirements for DACA — may now qualify for deferred action for childhood arrivals.  Please keep in mind, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) has no affirmative start date – stay tuned!

Always speak to an experienced immigration attorney before applying for any immigration benefit.  At NELSON | SMITH, LLP, we often have clients who learn during their first consultation that they qualify for something even better than deferred action!

To learn more about the new Expanded DACA program, please click:  Expanded DACA