DACA is a relief for young people who were brought to the US as children and need protection from removal from the US and ability to have work authorization. Now that the 2020presidential election has been called by all networks for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, we are expecting that DACA will be restored to the 2012 version established by former President Barack Obama with the full support of then Vice-President Biden. That means that young people who have become eligible for DACA since the program was abruptly curtailed by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions under the Trump administration, will now be able to apply for the initial DACA program. Also, those with approved DACA will be able to apply for Advance Parole permission to re-enter the US after travel abroad under the guidelines established in 2012. Those guidelines provided for much easier requirements for Advance Parole than those currently in place. In June 2020, the US Supreme Court ordered the Trump administration, specifically the USCIS, to restore DACA to the original 2012 program, but the USCIS has chosen to ignore the Supreme Court.
Now that President-elect Biden will take office on January 20, 2021, effective immediately our firm will be filing initial DACAs and advance parole for school, work and humanitarian purposes. Advance parole not only allows the DACA recipient to travel, the program also provides the DACA recipient with a legal entry. Under immigration law, if the DACA has a legal entry and a US citizen immediate relative (a US citizen spouse or child over 21) petitioner the DACA can adjust status inside the US to a green card. Please reach out to us if you would like more information about the process and the evidence required.
In case you do not remember the requirements for DACA and Advance Parole, I am providing them to you below. Please note that the physical presence requirements still demand that you show that you have been in the US since 2007. That means there we must submit 13 years of proof of physical presence rather which is double what we were providing back in 2012 so you may see an increase in attorney fees.
To be eligible for deferred action under the DACA program, you must:
- Have come to the United States before your sixteenth birthday.
- Have lived continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
- Have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and on every day since August 15, 2012.
- Not have a lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012. To meet this requirement, (1) you must have entered the U.S. without papers before June 15, 2012, or, if you entered lawfully, your lawful immigration status must have expired before June 15, 2012; and (2) you must not have a lawful immigration status at the time you apply for DACA.
- Be at least 15 years old at the time you apply for DACA. If you are currently in deportation proceedings, have a voluntary departure order, or have a deportation order, and are not in immigration detention, you may apply for DACA even if you are not yet 15 years old.
- Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces, or “be in school” on the date you submit your DACA application. See below for more information about meeting the “be in school” requirement.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense. A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
- Have not been convicted of a significant misdemeanor offense or three or more misdemeanor offenses. See below for more information about offenses that may disqualify you.
- Not pose a threat to national security or public safety. DHS has not defined precisely what these terms mean but has indicated that they include gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the U.S.