Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a prosecutorial discretion program administered by USCIS that provides temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) and work authorization to certain young people brought to the United States as children—often called “DREAMers.” On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of three years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. While DACA does not offer a pathway to legalization, it has helped over half a million eligible young adults move into mainstream life, thereby improving their social and economic well-being.
Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the deferred action for childhood arrivals （DACA） guidelines. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet certain guidelines may request consideration of DACA for a period of three years, subject to renewal for a period of three years, and may be eligible for employment authorization.
On November 20, 2014, the Administration modified the DACA program in the two following aspects:
- Eliminate the age ceiling and make individuals who began residing here before January 1, 2010 eligible. (Previously, applicants needed to be under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, and to have resided here continuously since June 15, 2007)
- The Administration announced that DACA grants and accompanying employment authorization will, as of November 24, 2014, last three years instead of two.
While USCIS will continue to take applications and renewals under current eligibility criteria, those eligible under the new criteria should be able to apply within 90 days of the announcement.