Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allows some immigrants who arrived without legal status to gain work permits and pursue a path to citizenship. Applicants for DACA must meet a number of requirements, including that he or she:
The forms used for DACA applications are the USCIS forms I-821D and I-765 work authorization. An applicant should speak with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that they are not subject to any bars or complications in the application process.
President Obama's executive order of November 2014 has not yet been put into effect due to a conflict in the courts. If approved, DACA may be expanded to include an even wider range of dates for childhood arrivals. Also pending before the Supreme Court is Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), which would protect some parents of American citizen and legal permanent resident children. While DAPA is still pending, you can speak with an attorney now to understand eligibility, required documentation, and fees associated with DAPA applications if they are indeed put into effect.
DACA, and presumably DAPA once in effect, have very specific requirements per the legal regulations. Clients should be very careful to make sure that they are eligible for one of these programs prior to contacting immigration services with an application. Clients with criminal history, unlawful entry, or who are uncertain about their immigration status should be particularly careful and at the very least consult with an attorney before making an important decision to apply for DACA or DAPA.