The requirements for applying for legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are below:
- Entry, legal or illegal, into the United States of America (USA) prior to January 1, 2010. If you entered after being processed at a border check point by an immigration agent (also called a Customs and Border Patrol or CBP officer), then you will have an I-94 or other forms attached in your passport. You may also have a stamp in your passport showing your date of entry. If you entered without inspection (EWI), meaning you crossed the border illegally, you will need solid evidence of being in the country. It can include any document issued with your name on it by a reliable authority.
- Continuously present in the USA since January 1, 2010. If you left the country and never returned or were out of the country for too long, you are not eligible. To demonstrate the so-called continuous presence, you will need evidence of being in school or having a job or renting an apartment and other such documents that can definitely prove that you were living continuously. Brief absences are fine. You can leave the country only if you are approved to do so after approval for DACA using advanced parole. Otherwise, do not leave the country, not even to Canada or Mexico
by road, because you may not be able to return.
- Entry before your 16th birthday.
- Pass a background check. If you have committed a felony or aggravated felony, do not even think about applying. Up to three misdemeanors are acceptable. While registering to vote is a not a problem but actually casting a vote will disqualify you. Additionally, you may also be rejected for criminal, national security, public health, or other morality grounds, though, it is not clear what these are (but it is safe to assume that engaging in terrorism activities or polygamy and other such crimes will not be tolerated). If you are a person with a doubtful background, consult with a good attorney before applying because otherwise you will be immediately arrested and deported. You need not worry about speeding or parking tickets but if you were convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense (criminal offense punishable by no more than one year of imprisonment or even no imprisonment that involves: violence, threats, or assault, including domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary, larceny, or fraud; driving under the influence of alcohol, commonly known as DUI or drugs; obstruction of justice or bribery; unlawful flight from arrest, prosecution, or the scene of an accident; unlawful possession or use of a firearm/gun; drug distribution or trafficking; or unlawful possession of drugs), multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety (anything related to terrorism), then you are ineligible and consult with an attorney if you apply.
- You can currently be in school/college, have graduated from at least high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States. Remember, that you would need to show solid documentation of any of these requirements so there is no bluffing.