Expanded DACA Applications Available February 18, 2015

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that applications for the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be available starting February 18, 2015.

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration initially announced DACA as a program to benefit a group commonly referred to as the “DREAMERs” - children who were brought to the United States at a young age and grew up in this country but who lacked lawful immigration status.

Under the initial DACA program, individuals were eligible if they:

    1. were under the age of 31 (i.e., born after June 15, 1981),
    2. were over age 15 at the time of filing of the application,
    3. entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday,
    4. had resided in the United States since at least June 15, 2007,
    5. were physically present in the United States without lawful immigration status on June 15, 2007,
    6. were either enrolled in a U.S. educational institution or had graduated from a U.S. educational institution, and
    7. did not have a serious criminal record.

Applicants who were approved received Deferred Action for two (2) years and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for that same 2 year period of time. In August of 2012, USCIS began accepting DACA applications, and over the past two and a half years, more than half a million young people in the United States have applied for and received DACA.

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of the DACA program. Under the DACA expansion, the President eliminated the age cap on DACA, extended the period of Deferred Action to three (3) years, and adjusted the required dates of continuous residence. 

A person will qualify for DACA under the expanded program if they:

    1. are over age 15 on the date of the application,
    2. entered the United States prior to their 16th birthday,
    3. have resided in the United States since at least January 1, 2010,
    4. were physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014,
    5. are either enrolled in a U.S. educational institution or have graduated from a U.S. educational institution, and
    6. do not have a serious criminal record.

On February 18, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for DACA under the DACA expansion.  

Please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C. to set up a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to review your case and discuss your eligibility for DACA under the expanded program.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.