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Entire families frequently immigrate to the U.S. For a variety of reasons, some of these families do so without going through the proper channels. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program is designed to give legal protections to children who arrived illegally in the U.S. To be eligible, many qualifications must be met.

If you’re curious about DACA and want to know whether or not you or someone you love may qualify, then contact the Miami immigration lawyers at Ferrer Shane Gonzalez. They have already helped many young immigrants determine their eligibility for DACA, and they may be able to provide you with the advice you need.

Benefits of DACA

People who qualify for DACA receive several valuable benefits. The act defers any action on individual immigration cases for a period of two years. Moreover, people who are eligible for DACA also receive an employment authorization document so that they are free to pursue a job. According to the Department of Homeland Security, any who receives DACA is determined to be lawfully present during the two-year period.

Qualified applicants may also request renewal of their DACA status.

Who Is Qualified for DACA? 

Many immigrants may be eligible for DACA, especially if they arrived in the U.S. as a child. Here are the basic eligibility requirements for the program:

  • Applicants must have entered the U.S. when they were under the age of 16;
  • Applicants must have been living in America on a continuous basis for a minimum of five years prior to June 15, 2012, which was the day that the DACA program was initiated;
  • Applicants must have been physically present in America on June 15, 2012; and
  • Applicants must currently be enrolled in school, have been graduated from high school, earned a GED, or were honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. armed forces.

In addition, applicants must never have been convicted of a significant misdemeanor, several misdemeanors, or a felony. All applicants must be less than 30 years of age and not be a threat to national security.

Apply for DACA with Ferrer Shane Gonzalez 

Like all immigration matters, applying for DACA can be complicated. Documentation and evidence that prove the candidate’s eligibility must be submitted along with the required forms. Certain deadlines must be met, and any errors or omissions in the paperwork will result in unnecessary delays that may affect the applicant’s eligibility.

It is for these reasons that individuals who believe they may qualify for DACA are encouraged to work with an attorney throughout the process. The knowledgeable DACA attorneys in Miami at Ferrer Shane Gonzalez are prepared to offer their guidance and advice so that potential applicants know where they stand and are able to present the best possible case to the authorities.

With the benefits of DACA being so valuable, it’s a good idea to act quickly. However, keep in mind that obtaining a green card or becoming a naturalized citizen are separate processes. Ask Ferrer Shane Gonzalez to learn more.