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Can a person who has been here for 5 years and meet all the criteria, but is under F2 status, apply for the Deferred Action?

Hudson, MA |

He first came here before turning 15.
Is on his last year of High School.
He has been living here, however he went to his home country a few times for a short period of time.
He is 18.

I was told that it would not be possible, but that would be so unfair!
He meet all the criteria, however he is not undocumented.

Can anyone confirm?
Thank you.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. DACA is for "undocumented" aliens who meet all the criteria NOT those who are in status.

  2. Because the person is not undocumented, he does not meet the following criteria:

    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.
    Individuals can call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 with questions or to request more information on the deferred action for childhood arrivals process or visit

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  3. DACA has different criteria

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to one’s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602

  4. DACA is only available to aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States. If the alien in question has been maintaining lawful F-2 status then he is unfortunately not eligible, as ironic as it may seem. This is one of the inequities of our immigration system and why comprehensive immigration reform is needed.

    While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. You should seek out qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation. Call +1-561-478-5353 to schedule a consultation with Mr. Devore.

  5. You cannot apply for DACA if you are in lawful nonimmigrant status.

    The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.

  6. DACA is only a temporary immigration benefit (two years, subject to renewal) for undocumented young immigrants who have no other way to work legally in the United States. Your friend is actually in better shape than most DACA recipients because he is in legal status. His best bet is to try to enroll in a college program after high school and apply for his own F-1 visa.

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