DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a status granted by executive order in 2012 to immigrants who came to the U.S. as children under the age of 16. An immigrant without lawful status may request DACA status provided:
- The person was younger than 31 as of the date of the establishment of the DACA program in 2012.
- The person came to the U.S. before his or her 16th birthday.
- The person has resided in the U.S. continually since June 15, 2007, up to the present day, including being present in the U.S. on the start date of the DACA program and on the date of making the DACA application.
- The applicant is in school or has completed high school or a GED or honorable discharge from the armed services.
- The applicant has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors.
DACA defers any removal proceedings against an immigrant granted DACA status for up to two years, which may be renewed. People with DACA status are also granted work authorization. However, DACA does not confer lawful status. A person with DACA status must still apply for permanent residency or naturalization.