How can a DACA recipient get a Green Card

Accessing a permanent residence after being part of the DACA program is possible. Know the requirements to which you can apply by family or by employment.

The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, established in 2012, protects the interests of migrants who came to the United States as children. Being part of DACA provides benefits such as working legally and avoiding deportation.

Unfortunately, its benefits are valid for two years. Before the end of this period, the benefit must be renewed. But how can a DACA recipient receive a Green Card? Unfortunately, of the nearly 700,000 beneficiaries, very few can obtain permanent residence, mainly due to the requirements.

DACA recipients can receive a Green Card

For people who are part of the program, there is an alternative to apply for permanent residence. The inescapable requirement to obtain a Green Card is to have entered the country legally. This means that as a minor you could have entered with a visa that later expired or through Advance Parole (advance entry permit). ).

The ways most used by DACA beneficiaries to receive a Green Card are by family (mainly marriage) and by employment. A person on DACA may apply for permanent residence if they are immediate family members of US citizens and residents or if sponsored by their employer.

Green Card by Marriage for DACA recipients

To apply for permanent residence by marriage, there are specific criteria, for example, if the couple you will sponsor meets the immigration status and if the applicant entered the United States legally or illegally. The latter is essential since the place where the procedure should begin will depend on it.

In the event that the DACA beneficiary has entered legally, they will be able to carry out their entire process within the United States. Legal entry is considered in two ways: via a valid visa or through the Visa Waiver Program.

If the interested party entered illegally, they must request it at the US Embassy in the country of origin or meet the legal entry requirement to apply. In either case, it implies having to leave the country. To start this process, you must request an Advance Parole, a document that allows you to return to the United States for humanitarian, employment, or educational reasons.

This re-entry will count as a legal entry and now the procedure could be carried out in this first way. ** If the document is not obtained, the person must leave the country and apply for the Green Card ** at the United States embassy in the country of origin.

One of the difficulties is that punishment of three to 10 years would be imposed for living illegally in the United States, which must be fulfilled to begin the process.

Green Card through Employment for DACA recipients

If the employer in the United States wishes to sponsor permanent residence they must show the worker's exceptional ability and contribution to the economic engine of the United States. In the same way as the marriage Green Card application, the applicant must have entered the country legally.

Otherwise, Advance Parole and also be requested and if it is not approved, a punishment of three to 10 years outside the country can be served. There is an additional legal remedy called the Unlawful Presence Waiver, a process that must be handled by an immigration attorney and is intended to avoid the re-entry ban.

In all cases, it is advisable to seek specialized legal advice to facilitate any process. Take into account that DACA beneficiaries who apply for a Green Card must cover one of the following payments, as the case may be:

  • Advance Parole $575 USD
  • Permanent residence registration $1,225 USD
  • Concurrent filing $1760 USD
  • Foreign family petition $535 USD

Being part of DACA is a benefit that transforms your life, but becoming a permanent resident will give you and your family peace of mind. Let us be part of your path to stability.