LEGAL UPDATE: On October 5, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling finding that DACA is illegal.
However, immigrants currently protected by DACA may retain and renew their status while the case proceeds through the legal system. Though new DACA applicants will not be accepted.
Read the Fifth Circuit ruling Texas v. U.S. (5th Cir., 2022) No. 21-4068.
In Nevada, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows certain aliens to avoid removal and achieve a temporary immigration status. However, deferred action is not a permanent fix: (1) it does not guarantee a green card or citizenship, and (2) it may be revoked at any time.
Our Las Vegas immigration attorneys answer the following frequently-asked-questions below:
- 1. Who was eligible for “DACA”?
- 2. What were the age requirements?
- 3. What was the application process?
- 4. What was the fee for DACA?
- 5. What was the timeframe for getting DACA relief?
- 6. Can I work under DACA?
- 7. Can I travel under DACA?
For the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to have granted you immigration status under DACA, you must have met the conditions below.
- You were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
- You came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday;
- You continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present;
- You were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request to be considered for deferred action with USCIS;
- You had entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of that date;
- You were currently in school, graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or were an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.; and
- You had not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and did not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Significant misdemeanors under DACA:
As stated above, non-citizens convicted of a significant misdemeanor were not eligible for DACA. The term “significant misdemeanor” includes:
- domestic violence,
- sexual abuse or exploitation,
- unlawful possession of firearms,
- driving under the influence, or
- drug distribution/trafficking.
These listed offenses were considered “significant” under the policy regardless of the person’s sentence. Along with this list, any other misdemeanor that involved a sentence of more than 90 days in jail was most likely considered a significant misdemeanor.1
There was a strict age bracket that you must have fit within to have been qualified for deferred action under DACA:
The first condition is that you must have been at least 15 years old at the time you applied for deferred action. And if you were 31 years of age or older as of June 15, 2012, you would not have been eligible for the status. Therefore, deferred action tended to benefit young adults.2
DACA applicants needed to complete and submit three forms along with supporting documentation to the USCIS no later than September 5, 2017:
The applicants also needed to pay the proper filing fee (unless it was exempted) and give their biometrics (in the form of fingerprints). Note that Nevada has two immigration offices that offer fingerprinting services: Las Vegas immigration office, and Reno immigration office.
About 90 days.
Yes. Once granted deferred action under DACA, you may apply for employment authorization.
If you are a DACA recipient who has received advance parole, you can leave and reenter the United States now. If you are a married DACA recipient who has not yet gotten advance parole, a 601a waiver is an option.3
Need a Nevada immigration attorney? Call us…
Contact our Las Vegas immigration attorneys for a consultation.
- Deferred Action, DHS; Trump’s Bid to End DACA Blocked by Supreme Court, Wall Street Journal (June 18, 2020); Caitlin Dickerson and , Judge Orders Government to Fully Reinstate DACA Program, New York Times (December 4, 2020); Priscilla Alvarez, Tierney Sneed and Rachel Janfaza, Federal judge blocks new DACA applications and says program is illegal, CNN (July 2021). Priscilla Alvarez, Federal appeals court rules 2012 DACA memo unlawful and sends case back to consider Biden administration version, CNN (October, 5, 2022).
- Update: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DHS.
- Can I get travel authorization with DACA?, CitizenPath.