Philadelphia DACA Lawyer
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, called DACA, is one of the most sensible immigration programs adopted in recent years. This program shields individuals brought to the United States as children from removal if they meet certain requirements. These individuals, often called DREAMers, can live and work in the U.S. without fear of being sent back to their “home” country. Although the program is popular, it continues to face legal challenges to this very day.
Online information regarding DACA is often wrong or confusing, and many people are unaware of the programs’ benefits or requirements. At Ellenberg Law Group, we’ve worked with many DREAMers and their families to secure DACA protections. Call our Philadelphia DACA lawyer today to find out more.
DACA Benefits & Requirements
President Obama created DACA with an executive order in 2012. It allows certain people living in the U.S. without legal authorization to stay and continue to work.
You might qualify for DACA if you meet the following:
- You were younger than 31 on June 15, 2012.
- You were physically present in the U.S. before you turned 16.
- You have lived continuously in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to June 15, 2012 (when DACA went into effect).
- You have completed high school, obtained a GED, or been honorably discharged from military service. If you are currently enrolled in high school or a GED program, you also qualify.
- You do not have convictions for certain serious crimes.
Crimes which can prevent approval include a felony, significant misdemeanor (like domestic violence or drug offenses), or 3 or more non-significant misdemeanors.
Once approved, those receiving DACA must renew their status, which is not automatic. The renewal process is critical, and you must meet deadlines.
DACA provides many benefits, which is why it is such an important program. The primary is deferred action from removal. You won’t be deported from the U.S. and sent to a country which you haven’t seen in decades. Benefits also include a work permit and protection from future deportation.
However, DACA recipients are not U.S. citizens, and DACA does not provide a path to lawful permanent residence (green card) or citizenship. If your dream is to live in the U.S. permanently, you should seek other ways to obtain a green card, such as by being sponsored by an employer or family member.
As mentioned above, recipients must apply to renew their status. Ideally, you should apply up to 4 months before your status expires to ensure continuous approval to stay in the U.S. Consult an attorney if you’ve picked up some criminal convictions in the interim, even for non-significant misdemeanors. These can imperil a renewal.
DACA Lawyers at Ellenberg Law Group Can Help
Those interested in DACA can file an initial application or for renewal on their own and without a lawyer’s assistance. However, it is very easy to make a mistake, and a lawyer can improve your submission. If you wish to talk with a Philadelphia DACA Lawyer, please contact Ellenberg Law Group today.