Many individuals are interested in applying for DACA, but they may be confused on what the basic requirements are to apply. Although every case needs to be looked at on an individual basis, individuals may be eligible if they:
- Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Arrived in the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
- Continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, to the present;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of requesting deferred action from USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or any lawful immigration status expired on or before June 15, 2012;
- Are now 15 years old or older; and
- Are not barred because of criminal convictions or other issues.
The more pressing question on everyone’s mind is whether or not all who apply will receive a work permit. Although the work permit seemed to be part and parcile to DACA, we have since learned that applicants must establish an economic need for the work permit first. However, economic need is not the only reason a work permit is desirable for Dreamers. They also need it to get a driver’s license, attend school, and many other routine daily tasks. An agreement to defer deportation for two years with the possibility of renewal may not have as great an impact on Dreamer’s lives as we once thought it would if it doesn’t also come with the one thing that has been missing for them thus far – a valid U.S. government identification of their own.