The Department of Homeland Security offers a program specifically for non-citizen immigrants who arrived in the US as children – and you might qualify for it. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program is designed to help people who came here as kids but never finalized any residency or citizenship paperwork. A Milwaukee immigration lawyer who has experience in these matters can help determine whether you qualify, and if so, can help you apply so that you can stay (and possibly even legally work) in the US.
Who Can Request Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?
If you came here before you turned 16 and you were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, you might qualify for deferred action. You’ll have to also meet the following criteria:
- You must have continuously lived in the US since June 15, 2007, until now
- You must have been physically present in the US on June 15, 2012
- You must have entered without inspection prior to June 15, 2012 or your legal immigration status must have expired as of that date
- You must either be in school, have graduated or obtained a GED, or be an honorably discharged of the US armed services or the Coast Guard
- You must not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor or more than three other misdemeanors
- You must not pose a threat to national security or public safety
It’s essential that you talk to a Milwaukee immigration attorney if you’re not sure whether you qualify; even if you don’t, you might qualify for other programs through the Department of Homeland Security that your lawyer can help you discover.
It’s important to note that deferred action doesn’t grant you citizenship or give you permanent residency privileges. If you’re interested in either of those, your lawyer can help you follow the right path to staying in the US on a more permanent basis.