New Jersey Immigration Attorney Clarifies What Can Qualify You for DACA
As a dedicated New Jersey Immigration Attorney, I am often asked by clients about how to qualify for DACA. There’s a great program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). It’s been around for a couple of years now. It benefits individuals who came into the US when they were young, under 16, and there are several other requirements.
One of the requirements is that someone has to produce a high school diploma, and they have a few other options. Many times they meet so many of the other requirements but they didn’t finish high school or they came in when they were 16 and they went straight to work. They don’t have any high school records at all.
This gentleman was afraid to apply back when the initial applications were submitted. He was in my office and said, “I have no high school records. Is there any way that I could qualify?” Yes he could have; just because someone does not have a high school diploma does not mean they cannot apply for DACA. In terms of the educational requirement, people can either be in school and prove that they’re in school. They could also be in the GED program.
In terms of some of the other requirements, people have to prove that they came into the US before they were 16. They have to prove that they came into the US before June of 2007. They have to prove that they were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012, which is when DACA took effect. They have to prove the educational requirement.
They must have a pretty clean police record, maybe a minor misdemeanor is okay, but anything that’s more serious will totally eliminate them being qualified. If you have had any type of a deportation problem however, it doesn’t matter. Deferred action means that you will not be deported, that your deportation is being deferred. This is a wonderful program where people can acquire a work permit if they get approved.
The work permit is valid for two to four years. Right now, there is no talk of DACA applicants acquiring green cards. However, in certain circumstances, it is possible for approved DACA applicants to travel outside the country. If they return with advance parole and have a lawful entry, some of them are married to US citizens and they can adjust their status in the US. It really opens all the doors for the people who entered the US before they were 16. One of the other requirements is that someone has to have been under 31 in June 2012. You have to do a little bit of calculation regarding the age, and if it meets certain requirements.
As an experienced New Jersey Immigration Attorney, I’ve even had one case where an individual didn’t have actual proof that he was here before he was 16, but he had a photograph of himself standing on the corner near a gas station sign in a snowstorm. We were able to do research and find out the price of gas when the price of gas was as low as it was on that sign. We are able to do meteorological research and determine that there was a snowstorm. He told us that is was January of the certain year. We also got affidavits from people that he lived with.
If you are creative in a legal way, with secondary documentation you can help someone get their case approved where otherwise they may be missing a piece of crucial information. Our firm has had success showing graduation pictures with copies of diplomas of the people in the picture that graduated, proving someone’s physical presence.
Are you sure you can qualify for DACA? Contact our professional New Jersey Immigration Lawyer for guidance.