What kind of immigration relief is available for undocumented students?
Currently, undocumented students may apply to receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) if they meet the requirements. To be eligible for DACA, applicants must:
- Have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
- Have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 (the date DACA was announced);
- Have had no lawful status as of June 15, 2012;
- Have been under age 30 as of June 15, 2012;
- Currently be in school; have graduated high school or completed a GED; or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
- Have not been convicted of a felony, one significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanor offenses that do not arise from a single event or misconduct;
- Not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
For more information about the requirements to qualify for DACA, see https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
Note: The current President signaled that he might end DACA, but has not said what action—if any—he plans to take against DACA applicants and recipients. However, most immigrant rights groups agree that first-time DACA applicants should wait to file their applications until there is more information about the President’s plans. People renewing their deferred action status can still apply—but they might lose their filing fees if the program ends. All DACA recipients and DACA-eligible individuals should pay close attention to the news (or talk to an immigration lawyer) for the most up-to-date information.