August 2012

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: What Notaries Do Not Know!

The trend is definitely there: Every year, numerous members in the immigrant community become victim to those who commit unlicensed practice of law. And this number increases when the government announces an amnesty program or some other form of relief. Innocent people are lured by the bait of "cheap" fees and become victims of "notaries" who mishandle their cases and destroy their chances of ever adjusting status.

In a previous article on June 2012, Keeping the DREAM Alive: A Glimmer of Hope for the Undocumented Youth, we noted the main requirements of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s new policy for childhood arrivals. Now, given the DHS' implementation of the filing procedure on August 15, 2012, we warn you against hiring unlicensed practitioners or "notaries."

Q & A

Q: I have been in the U.S. since I was brought here by my parents from Venezuela when I was 2 years old. But now I turned 31 in July 2012 before the DACA policy was implemented and I have not filed my application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival yet. I read that the application had to be filed before I turned 31. Is there anyway I can get around this problem?


A: Dear T.C., According to the recent publication by the DHS, you must have been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012. Thus it appears that your age qualifies. Of course, you must still meet all the other requirements. In order to review the basic criteria, please see below.

To ask Immigration Counselors your questions, please email

What are the criteria for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)?

The Department of Homeland Security has fully implemented DACA on August 15, 2012. According to the DHS, you may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

However, the grant of this relief is discretionary. One should consider hiring an experienced immigration attorney to file this important application.


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