USCIS is required to accept DACA applications

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On December 7, 2020, the United States District Court in the Eastern District of New York issued an order requiring USCIS to begin taking DACA applications, including first time DACA applications. The order restored the DACA program to the policy that was in effect on September 4, 2017. 

This means that, at least for the time being, USCIS is required to accept DACA applications, even first time applications, for eligible noncitizens. DHS has the ability to challenge DACA again if it chooses to do so. This is in no way the end of the road for DACA news or litigation. For the time being, though, its good news.

DACA is a program of deferred prosecution allowing noncitizens who meet certain requirements to temporarily remain in the United States and obtain work authorization. It is a discretionary form of relief filed with USCIS. 

You may qualify for DACA if:

  • You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • You came to the United States before you turned 16 years of age;
  • You have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007;
  • You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and you must be physically present in the United States when you file your DACA application;
  • You did not have lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • You are in school, have graduated, obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the United States military;
  • You have not been convicted of a disqualifying criminal offense and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.  

This is information only and if you believe you may qualify for DACA, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney in your area.