Understanding the Eligibility Requirements for DACA

Updated on April 10, 2024

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, introduced in 2012, provides temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to eligible young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. If you are considering applying for DACA, it is essential to understand the eligibility requirements. In this blog post, we will discuss the criteria you must meet to be eligible for DACA.

30 Second Recap:

To be eligible for DACA, you must have been under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012, continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your DACA request. You must also be enrolled in school, have completed high school or a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran, and have no significant criminal or immigration issues. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee approval, and consulting with an immigration attorney is recommended.

DACA Eligibility Requirements

Below, we detail the requirements to be eligible for DACA status in the United States. Here’s.a quick overview:

A list of DACA eligibility requirements:Under 31 as of June 15, 2012.Applied before age 15.Continuous residence since 6/15/07.Present in the U.S. on 6/15/12.Present in the U.S. during application.Enrolled, graduated, GED, or veteran.No felonies or major misdemeanors.No lawful status as of 6/15/12.

Age Requirements

To be eligible for DACA, you must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. Additionally, you must have been at least 15 years old at the time of your initial DACA application, unless you were in removal proceedings or had a final removal or voluntary departure order.

Continuous Residence

You must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time. Brief, casual, and innocent absences outside the U.S. for less than 90 days for a single trip or a total of 180 days for all trips combined will not interrupt your continuous residence.

Physical Presence

You must have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your DACA request.

Education or Military Service

To be eligible for DACA, you must be currently enrolled in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.

Criminal and Immigration History

You must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. Additionally, you must not have a lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012.

Age at Entry

You must have entered the United States before your 16th birthday.

DACA Status is Not Guaranteed

It is important to note that meeting these eligibility requirements does not guarantee approval of your DACA application. Each case is evaluated individually, and additional factors may be considered. If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria for DACA, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can help you navigate the application process and ensure that your rights are protected.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the eligibility requirements for DACA is crucial if you are considering applying for the program. By meeting the age, continuous residence, physical presence, education or military service, criminal and immigration history, and age at entry criteria, you may be eligible for temporary protection from deportation and work authorization under DACA.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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