I WAS APPROVED FOR DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS, NOW WHAT?
5 Things You Should Do After Receiving Your DACA Approval Letter
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “DACA” policy was signed by President Obama on June 15, 2012. DACA allows certain undocumented aliens, who came to the United States as children, and have pursued or are currently pursuing education or military service in the United States, a work permit and a temporary stay from deportation.
The qualifications for DACA are as follow:
- You must have come into the United States before you turned 16 years old;
- You must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- You must have been present in the United States for five years preceding June 15, 2012;
- You must not have been convicted of 1 felony, 1 significant misdemeanor, or 3 or more minor misdemeanors;
- You must have maintained presence in the United States since June 15, 2012; and
- You must have graduated from high school, obtained your GED, or were honorably discharged from the Coast Guard, or the Armed Forces of the United States.
DACA approval does not mean you can get your green card, but it does mean you are safe from deportation for at least 2 years. DACA also allows you to obtain a temporary work permit for that period of time.
If you met all of these requirements and received an approved DACA application, there are certain benefits you may now receive in the United States. The following are just a few of them:
- SOCIAL SECURITY CARD: You should immediately apply for a Social Security Number. The government will not automatically issue you a Social Security Number. In order to obtain a Social Security Card, you should bring your DACA work permit and proof of age and identity to a Social Security Office near you in person. Once your documents are verified and your application is processed, your new Social Security Card will be mailed to you within a few weeks.
- RECEIVE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE: Once you have a Social Security Card, you may apply to receive your Driver’s license.
- APPLY FOR JOBS: Now that you have a valid work permit, you can apply for jobs!
- APPLY FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID: A Social Security Card can also allow you to get certain scholarships and financial aid that you would not have been able to receive before your DACA approval. While this varies from state to state, it is important to look into your options in your home state.
- RECEIVE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION: You MUST receive an Advanced Parol Document before you leave the United States, otherwise you will not be able to return and your DACA status will be terminated. If absolutely necessary, you may apply for an Advanced Parole Document (and pay the requisite fees), which will allow you to travel internationally (if approved) and return to the United States safely. However, it is extremely important consult a licensed Immigration Attorney before you leave the country to avoid any negative future consequences to your immigration status.
Call or email our law firm if you have any additional questions on DACA, or your would like an evaluation of whether you qualify.
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