Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a special program announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012. It allows for some undocumented individuals, between the ages of 15 and 31 to apply for protection against deportation, and to work legally in the U.S.

Some people call DACA the Dream Act. DACA is a program that started as an alternative to the Dream Act. DACA is not a green card or a visa, and it is not a path to citizenship. It only means that the government will not deport you, and will allow you to work.


The DACA Program has changed and may keep changing. Check back often for updates.


Important Facts about DACA

Several lawsuits have changed the DACA program. Facts you should know:

1. Your current DACA is valid until it expires.

Your DACA status and work permits are valid until the expiration date on your documents. To find out when your DACA expires, look at your approval notice or your work permit. You may request a renewal of your DACA status and work permit.

2. Immigration is accepting new DACA applications, but is holding them and not taking action on them.

Immigration will accept new applications for DACA, but they will not take any action on them. You can apply for DACA if you have never had DACA status before, but since this case has been in litigation you may or may not see a positive result in your case.

3. You are still able to renew your DACA status.
  • If you have DACA status now or had DACA status in the past, you are still eligible to renew your status.
  • If you cannot afford the renewal fee, see the United We Dream 2023 DACA Renewal Fund and their information about DACA Lending Circles.
  • Get free help from an immigration lawyer who will help you file for your DACA extension.
4. You can still apply for advance parole documents to travel outside the U.S.

DACA recipients can still apply for advance parole documents to travel outside the U.S., but only for specific reasons.

Resource Boxes
More Resources
More information about DACA
Immigration - DACA more info box

United We Dream - the latest information on DACA for immigrant youth

National Immigration Law Center DACA section

American Immigration Lawyers Association Featured Issue: Protecting Dreamers

Immigrant Legal Resource Center DACA toolbox

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Use the Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder to find free and low cost immigration legal programs.


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