What Are the Options for DACA Recipients?
The legal options for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who are subject to political whimBy Doug Mentes, Esq. | Last updated on January 26, 2023
Use these links to jump to different sections:experienced immigration attorneys working to find alternative solutions for DACAs. The options include both immigrant and non-immigrant paths to legal status. For those that do not wish to cross their fingers and hope for the best, these are some of their potential options.
Family-Based Green CardDACA recipients who have an immediate relative that is a U.S. citizen are eligible for sponsorship from that relative for permanent residence (green card). Sponsorship means the sponsor can demonstrate the ability to financially support the immigrant relative. Eligible immediate family members include parents, spouse, children and siblings. If a DACA recipient has a spouse or parent who has their green card, they may also be eligible for green card sponsorship. For recipients with a qualifying relative, the green card application process will vary based on how he or she entered the U.S. and the status and relationship of the family member who will be the sponsor. The process will generally be easier if the DACA recipient entered on a visa through lawful entry as opposed to unauthorized entry.
Qualify for Asylum?Asylum applicants must submit evidence to show they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. And, to be granted asylum in the U.S., you must prove that you fear persecution in your home country based on your race, nationality, religion, political opinion and/or membership in a social group. There is a one-year deadline after entering the U.S. to apply for asylum. However, this requirement does not apply to those under 18. If you file for asylum within a year after turning 18 (or any time while you’re still under 18), your asylum application won’t be denied for late filing. In limited circumstances there is the possibility of being able to file beyond one year.
Marriage To a U.S. CitizenMarriage is a potential path to a green card for undocumented immigrants. The marriage must be based on a relationship that is bona fide—meaning for good faith reasons. You and your spouse will have to persuade U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and possibly a U.S. Consulate abroad, that your relationship is genuine. There is no required documentation to prove your relationship, but common examples include:
- Jointly filed taxes
- Jointly held credit cards and retirement accounts
- photographs showing the two of you together as a couple
- jointly held insurance
- affidavits from friends and family
- proof of cohabitation
- birth certificates of your children
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