Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA or relief for Dreamers, is a discretionary form of relief in which individuals who entered the United States before their 16th birthdays are eligible to get a work permit so that they can obtain a valid social security number and work and go to school legally in the United States.
To be eligible, you must:
- Have entered the United States before turning 16 years old
- Have continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 until the present
- Have entered the United States illegally before June 15, 2012, or be out of status as of that date
- Be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
- Be over the age of 15 (unless you have a removal order against you) at the time you apply
- Have graduated from high school, obtained a GED certificate, or currently be enrolled in school working towards your high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more non-significant misdemeanors.
Felony offense is defined as a state or federal crime which carries jail time of over one year. A significant misdemeanor is a crime which carries a jail sentence of more than five days, but less than one year and is an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or, driving under the influence; or, if not an offense listed above, is one for which you were actually sentenced to more than 90 days imprisonment. This does not include suspended jail sentences.
Non-significant misdemeanors are crimes that carry jail sentences of more than five days, but less than one year, for offenses other than those listed under significant misdemeanors, for which you served less 90 days or less of active jail time. USCIS the department that adjudicates DACA applications has clarified that traffic offenses, such as driving without a license, will not count as a non-significant misdemeanors.