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When are you too old to receive DACA protection?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2024 | Family Immigration |

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a program that offers protection for many young immigrants in the United States. It helps those who arrived as children to avoid deportation and obtain work permits.

You might understandably wonder, though, if there is an age limit for DACA eligibility.

DACA age guidelines

To understand DACA’s age requirements, it is important to look at the program’s guidelines. One important factor is the age at which an individual arrived in the United States. To qualify for DACA, an applicant must have arrived in the country before turning 16 years old. This means that someone who arrived after their 16th birthday does not qualify, regardless of other factors.

Another important age-related requirement concerns the applicant’s age on June 15, 2012. DACA requires that applicants must have been under 31 years old as of that date. This means that individuals who were 31 or older on June 15, 2012, cannot apply for DACA. This cutoff ensures that DACA protections apply only to a specific group of young immigrants. As long as an applicant meets these criteria, however, it is not possible to age out of DACA eligibility.

Other DACA criteria

In addition to these age-related rules, applicants must also meet other criteria. They must have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007. They must also have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of applying for DACA. Moreover, they need to be in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.

The rules for DACA eligibility are strict, especially regarding age. Arriving in the United States before turning 16 and being under 31 on June 15, 2012, are non-negotiable requirements. An applicant who meets these strict criteria is eligible for DACA protection even if they are older than 31.


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