Most entries below contain actual legal discussions of events directly related to Filipinos in or immigrating to the United States.
Remember- These writings are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. Each person's needs and requirements are different and require a personal evaluation to determine the proper legal course of action.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

DACA Still Available for Filipinos

The number of DACA applications for citizens of the Philippines continues below expectations.  I previously discussed possible reasons for this reluctance to apply.  If you know someone eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, they should consider applying soon.  The opportunities of DACA will not last forever.

DACA Can Help Adults 

DACA is not just for children.  You can be as slightly older than 32½ now and still apply for DACA as long as you were under 16 when you entered the United States before 6/16/2007, and your immigration status expired before 6/16/2012.  Your previous visa category does not matter.  B (visitor), H (worker), F/M (student), J (exchange) -- ANY prior visa category --  as long as it expired before 6/16/2012.  

So, keeping in mind these entry and status expiration dates, here are examples of some adults that may benefit from DACA:

--U.S. college graduate, 28 years-old, whose visitor visa expired fifteen years ago.

--Thirty year-old married father of three who came to the U.S. with his parents 20 years ago as an H-4.

--Thirty-one year-old who entered as child and left to be raised by an aunt, was caught by immigration when he was 20 and ordered deported, but never left the United States.


As these examples show, DACA is not just for today's children, and deserves some serious consideration for some adult Filipinos who are out of status.

Other eligibility requires exist and I am not going to discuss all the details of every benefit, requirement and risk of applying for DACA.  Requirements and limitations have been posted everywhere, including this USCIS webpage.

Will DACA Expires?

DACA recipients are granted work authorization and protection from deportation for two years, and the current administration policy is that it will be renewed in two-year increments.  But remember, the DACA program is not a "law".  It is a "policy".  DACA was created by a memo and can be canceled by a memo if this, or the next, administration wishes it so.  Additionally, the U.S. Congress has the power to cancel DACA.  As talk continues in Congress about changes to U.S. immigration law, the continuation of DACA will be part of that discussion.

There is an old adage in immigration law that says, "If you're eligible for a benefit, grab it.  You don't know how long it will be around".

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