Sometimes known as the “Dreamer” program, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is an option for individuals brought to the US as children. Specifically, it helps those who arrived without following the immigration process. Designed to give these children a way to remain safely in the country as they decide their futures, approval can be helpful but challenging to complete.
An experienced Augusta immigration lawyer is essential to understanding the process and successfully obtaining the documentation required to work and live in the US. The law offices of Barrios & Virguez are here to guide you through gathering what you need. We concentrate on advising clients in all areas of immigration law and work diligently to seek positive outcomes for every case we take on.
DACA Policy Explained
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was created in June 2012 to establish guidelines for those who arrived in the US with their parents from other countries. When the parents did not follow immigration policies, their children were at risk of being removed. DACA provides a safe haven for those who were under the age of 16 as of the policy creation date and prevents removal or deportation actions against those who are approved.
While DACA does not give lawful status to participants, it can provide a window of time for individuals to seek citizenship or make plans to leave the country. People who successfully receive DACA status are required to renew their request every two years and obtain special permission to travel outside the US. Applicants can also request and receive a permit to work legally in the country.
Recent presidential administrations have tried to challenge the DACA program. There are currently some court decisions that could impact the application status of individuals. You are still able to file and renew requests, and our knowledgeable Augusta DACA lawyers can help you complete the necessary steps.
For a free legal consultation with a daca lawyer serving Augusta, call 678-888-2222
Application Costs and Requirements for DACA
For initial requests, the application fee is $495. Every two years, you will also need to pay $495 to renew your request to maintain your status. Fees can be paid in numerous ways, provided they are in US funds drawn from a US financial institution.
The fees are paid when you send in your application or renewal request. Your DACA lawyer in Augusta can assist in making sure you have this organized correctly. When you apply initially, you must provide supporting documentation as evidence that you meet all of the following requirements:
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- You arrived in the US prior to your 16th birthday;
- You have resided continuously in the US from June 15, 2007, to the present date;
- You were physically present within the US on June 15, 2012, and at the time of your initial request;
- You arrived in the US without immigration inspection or had a lapsed visa before June 15, 2012;
- You are currently in school, obtained a diploma or GED, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the armed forces or Coast Guard;
- You have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and
- You do not pose any threat to national security or public safety.
Applicants must also complete and pass a biographic and biometric background check. Putting together all the evidence required to prove the requirements is time-consuming and confusing. You will benefit from the guidance of a DACA attorney in Augusta with many years of experience advising clients on how to complete the process successfully.
Augusta DACA Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
How Long Must I Wait for DACA Approval?
The Department of Homeland Security has set a goal of completing initial applications within 90 days and renewal requests within 120 days from receiving them. Once you have sent all your paperwork and documentation, you will receive a notification within 2-3 weeks that your application or renewal is being reviewed. If there are any gaps or errors in your information, the request will be returned so you can make the necessary corrections.
Traveling Outside the U.S. and DACA
Regardless of whether an individual is requesting DACA status or already has it, it is important that they remain within the U.S. unless travel is absolutely necessary. If you must leave the country, you will need to complete Form I-131, Application for Travel Document to request advance parole. This will protect your status and document your reason for leaving the country.
You must submit documentation for the need, and it must be for one of three reasons:
- Educational purposes: studying abroad or for academic research
- Humanitarian purposes: receiving medical treatment, visiting a sick family member, attending a funeral
- Employment purposes: attending work conferences, attending client meetings, job assignments overseas, or interviewing for work
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DACA Protects You While You Are in the US
While DACA does not provide legal citizenship, it can prevent any actions for the removal or deportation of approved individuals. Built to secure a future for children who were brought into the United States without legal protection, it gives you a chance to be a “Dreamer.” Receiving approval provides time to pursue the naturalization process or make arrangements to move to another country.
Although it can be time-consuming and difficult, the program keeps individuals in good legal standing no matter what they choose or where they decide to live. Maintaining status through the program can be helpful when applying for visas or citizenship in other countries. Barrios & Virguez DACA lawyers are well-versed in helping you understand your options.
Hire a Qualified Augusta DACA Attorney Today
The United States has always welcomed those who choose to seek a better life. By providing a secure path for approval to those who arrived when they were very young, DACA is meant to support these children as they become adults. To understand more about how the policy can benefit you and those you love, trust a qualified Augusta DACA lawyer from our professional legal team.
Barrios & Virguez is a family-run law firm, and we have helped thousands of immigrants fulfill their dreams by offering superior service and deep knowledge of US immigration law. Do not let cost keep you from seeking legal help. Contact us using our convenient online form or call us