NYC DACA ATTORNEYS WITH 50 YEARS OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE
With extensive immigration experience of over 50 years, our team at Spar & Bernstein has helped hundreds of young people who entered the United States as children remain in the US as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
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WHY HIRE SPAR & BERNSTEIN FOR HELP WITH DACA?
Our compassionate and knowledgeable immigration team has helped more than 100,000 people obtain United States immigration benefits.
If you are eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, our experienced immigration lawyers at Spar & Bernstein can help you apply, so you can remain in the country for a renewable two-year period, during which time you can live and work without the threat of deportation.
WHAT IS THE DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS PROGRAM (DACA)?
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allows individuals who are eligible to live and work in the US for two years, before applying for renewal.
DACA protects around 800,000 people who entered the US as children, unlawfully. Known as “DREAMers,” these individuals are permitted to live and work in the US under the DACA program.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS PROGRAM (DACA)?
Under the original version of the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, you can apply for DACA, if you:
- Were under 16 years of age when you came to the US
- Were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, and also at the time you applied for deferred action.
- Had continuously resided in the US since June 15, 2007, up to the time when you applied for DACA status, excluding short casual departures.
- Were born after June 15, 1981, meaning you were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012.
- Entered the US without inspection or with a visa before June 15, 2007.
- Currently attending high school, or have graduated or received a completion certificate from an accredited high school, earned a general education development (GED) certificate.
- If already graduated high school, after doing two years of university studies, or honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the US
- Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, or a felony and do not present a threat to public safety or US national security
HOW LONG IS DACA VALID?
DACA must be renewed every two years. Note that this is a temporary solution to stay in the US, and that the program is currently facing legal challenges, with an uncertain future.
To find alternatives options to stay in the US legally, contact our immigration attorneys at Spar & Bernstein.
BENEFITS OF DACA
Although DACA does not give you permanent legal status, the program allows you to:
- Obtain a social security number
- Obtain a driver’s license
- Work in the US
- Study in the US
- Travel outside of the US and return with advance parole under certain circumstances approved by USCIS
- Apply for renewal every two years
If your DACA expires, you will accrue unlawful presence and may lose your work authorization. In order to meet the renewal deadline, you must submit the renewal application approximately 120 days before the expiration of your work permit.
THE CURRENT STATUS OF DACA
The Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was implemented in June 2012 by the Obama administration.
With multiple efforts by the Trump administration to phase the program out and subsequent lawsuits halting these intentions, DACA was reinstated by President Joe Biden.
Here’s where DACA stands today:
- DACA holders are able to renew their status and receive benefits under the program, including Advance Parole authorization to travel
- The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently accepting first-time requests for consideration but is not required to act upon them
- One-year grants of deferred action under DACA can be extended to two years by the USCIS
- One-year employment authorization documents under DACA can be extended to two years by the USCIS
When Does My Unlawful Presence In the US Begin To Accrue?
Your unlawful presence in the US begins after your 18th birthday. This means if you are 18 and six months, you have accumulated six months of unlawful presence, regardless of when you entered the country.
What Should I Know Before I Apply For DACA?
Note that DACA is a temporary program and its legality is currently being challenged. That means the eligibility criteria may be altered.
Keep in mind that DACA does not guarantee for permanent residence or US citizenship and even if you become a DACA recipient, it is a temporary solution.
Contact Spar & Bernstein’s DACA lawyers to discuss your individual case.
What Forms Should I Fill Out To Apply For DACA?
To apply for DACA, fill out the following forms:
- Form I-821-D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which you also submitted during your initial application
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
You must also submit biometrics including fingerprints, photographs, and signatures. If you receive a notice to appear for biometrics at an Application Support Center (ASC) and fail to comply, your deferred action request may be denied.
If you’re not sure how to fill out the application forms, our DACA attorneys at Spar & Bernstein can help you through the process.
What Documents Show I Entered The US Before My 16th Birthday?
To prove you entered the US before your 16th birthday, you can submit:
- A passport with an admission stamp showing when you entered the US
- Any document from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or DHS showing your date of entry, such as Form I-862, Notice to Appear
- Form I-94, I-94W, or I-95 Arrival-Departure Record
- Travel documents, including transportation tickets with your dates of travel to the US
- School records from the US schools you have attended, such as report cards or transcripts stating the dates of your studies and the name of the schools
- Hospital or medical records from your treatment or hospitalization in the US stating the dates of treatment or hospitalization and the names of the medical facilities
- Official records from a US religious entity to confirm your participation in a religious ceremony or rite such as baptism or first communion
Who Can Help Me With My DACA Application?
At Spar & Bernstein, our experienced DACA immigration lawyers will help you complete your DACA application and prepare any additional documents you may need.
As DACA does not guarantee lawful immigration status, our team will also identify your eligibility for different forms of immigration relief and help you choose the best option.
If My Removal From The U.S Has Been Deferred Under The DACA Program, Can I Obtain Employment Authorization?
Yes, if your case has been deferred under the DACA program, you can be granted employment authorization from the USCIS.
Will I Receive Financial Aid As A DACA Student?
As a DACA student, you will not receive federal financial aid. You may be eligible for financial assistance at a state or local level.
As A DACA Recipient, Am I Allowed To Travel Abroad?
To travel outside of the US, you need to apply for authorization to travel, known as Advance Parole. This document will allow you to travel abroad for educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes. However, it will not be allowed to obtain Advance Parole for vacation.
How Can I Renew My DACA Status?
If you received the right to remain and work in the US under the DACA program, that was a temporary solution. You may be able to renew your DACA status for an additional two years if you:
- Continue to meet the original DACA eligibility criteria
- Have continuously resided in the US since the time you submitted your initial DACA application
- Have not left the country without USCIS’s permission in the form of Advance Parole
- Have not presented a threat to the public safety or US national security and have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors
When Should I Apply For DACA Renewal?
The USCIS recommends that you submit your renewal application approximately 120 days before your work permit, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), expires.
The USCIS will reject your application if you apply more than 150 days before your work permit expires. If you apply too closely to the expiration date, your work permit might expire before you are approved, which will cause you to lose your job and your lawful immigration status.
To stay on the safe side and avoid unnecessary risks, contact an experienced DACA lawyer. At Spar & Bernstein, our immigration attorneys will help you through the application and renewal process and make sure important deadlines are met.
Should I See A Lawyer To Renew My DACA Status?
Every DACA applicant should have access to an experienced attorney. If you need help with your DACA renewal, our experienced immigration attorneys at Spar & Bernstein will walk you through the process. If either of the following apply, you must contact a lawyer:
- Your situation has changed from the time of your initial DACA application. For example, if you have been convicted of a crime since your initial application.
- You no longer meet the initial educational requirements.
What Documents Do I Need To Submit To Renew My DACA Status?
The documents needed to renew your DACA are the same documents you submitted during your first application. They include:
- Form I-821-D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which you also submitted during your initial applications
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
You will need to submit additional documents if your situation has changed from the time you initially applied for DACA. For example, additional documents may be required if you:
- Have been charged or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony
- Are in removal proceedings, unless your case was closed
I Turned 31 After I Got DACA. Am I Eligible To Apply For DACA Renewal?
Yes, you are eligible to renew your DACA status if you were under 31 on June 15, 2012.
How Much Does It Cost To Apply For DACA?
The total fee for your DACA renewal application is $495. This covers filing fees for Form I-812D and Form I-765, in addition to biometrics.
How Do I Submit My DACA Renewal Application?
You can submit your renewal application online or send it by mail.
Can I Switch From DACA to an H-1B Work Visa?
To change the status from DACA to an H-1B work visa, you must:
- Have less than six months of unlawful presence in the US
- Have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher degree
- Have been offered a bachelor’s-level position by an employer who is willing and ready to sponsor you
Contact our experienced team at Spar & Bernstein to review your unique situation and help you determine the best way to obtain an H-1B work visa.