Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan announced by the Obama administration in 2012, undocumented immigrants that meet specified conditions may request temporary protection from deportation. An individual whose case has been deferred is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.”

According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), ending DACA will cost Illinois $2.24 billion in annual GDP. Click here to read the full report.

Do not pay anyone to help you apply for Deferred Action! Before you pay for immigration services, know your rights! Click to learn more in English or Spanish. If you believe you or someone you know may have been the victim of fraud, please call 311 to report this.

If you are seeking immigration assistance, learn more about the rules and regulations governing immigration assistance providers.


To be eligible for DACA, you must demonstrate that 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. Had no lawful status on 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, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Click here for more information and to access the required application forms.

In 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of DACA to individuals above the age of 31 and introduced Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. However, due to a federal court order, these programs have been temporarily suspended. Individuals meeting the eligibility guidelines above are not affected by the court order and may still apply.

Additional Resources

 I Want To