As of August 15, 2012, the USCIS has begun accepting requests from undocumented immigrants who hope to take part in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Undocumented immigrants will be considered for deferred action on a case-by-case basis. To qualify, applicants need to be under 30 years of age and must have arrived in the US undocumented as children. Applicants must have completed school, have a GED, or have military service with the US armed forces. The USCIS website lists other requirements that applicants need to meet in order to qualify for DACA. Those undocumented immigrants who are facing removal proceedings, those who have been ordered deported, and those who have never had any legal problems are all qualified to apply for DACA.
The USCIS has created a review process for DACA applicants. Those who qualify and are approved by the USCIS for DACA will be given legal status to stay in the US for two years. They will also be able to get work authorization to work legally in the US. The status offered by DACA is renewable and protects DACA participants from deportation, although it does not provide a pathway to citizenship or to permanent residency.
Those who think they may qualify for DACA and wish to apply can do so by visiting the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals or by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Center (1-800-375-5283). The USCIS provides full instructions for applying for DACA as well as the forms needed to apply. It is important to note that there is no appeals process for DACA. If the USCIS rejects an applicant, there is no recourse to have the USCIS reconsider the rejection. For this reason, it is important to completely and correctly fill out the DACA forms correctly and first time and to create the most compelling application possible.