Chicago DACA Lawyer

Helping Undocumented Individuals Work and Avoid Deportation in America

There are many pathways to citizenship and legal status in America. However, there are always individuals who seem to fall through the cracks of the system. Up until the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order was issued in 2012, this included undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Fortunately, this policy offers relief to those in this situation. A Chicago DACA lawyer may be able to assist. At Gilliam Law, our team of immigration law professionals is dedicated to our clients. We know how stressful it is to be denied citizenship, lawful residency, or to live under the constant fear of deportation. While DACA-eligible persons may not be lucky enough to have obtained citizenship at birth or have at least one parent naturalized during their childhood, they do have options for staying in the country without worrying about an immigration officer coming for them. We can help you understand the process and how to move forward. Contact us today for a Free Case Evaluation.

What Are DACA Eligibility Requirements?

If you’re in America and haven’t undergone the naturalization process, it’s important to understand your status. In some instances, you may be eligible for protection under DACA — which will defer any deportation action and can provide work authorization. However, this isn’t something that you can “work towards” or earn over time. The law only applies to a specific set of individuals. Only those who meet the following requirements are eligible for DACA protection:

  • Must have arrived in America prior to the age of 16.
  • Have continuous residence in America since June 15, 2007.
  • Be present in America on June 15, 2012, and when submitting a DACA application.
  • Be under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012.
  • Not have a significant criminal record or pose a risk to national security.

If you meet these qualifications, the Chicago DACA attorneys at Gilliam Law may be able to help you obtain deferred status. However, keep in mind that this may not be your only option. Rather than having deportation deferred, our legal team may be able to help you complete an application for naturalization or become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). You may have options that you’re unaware of, so it’s important to discuss your situation with a legal professional.

Contact us today to learn more.

What Does DACA Offer to Those Eligible?

While deferred status and work authorization are important aspects of DACA, there are other critical issues you should understand. For instance, DACA status is renewable for those who continue to meet eligibility requirements. For individuals who demonstrate good moral character, this means the renewal of deferred status can be a simple process. Essentially, you only have to continue residing in America and avoid criminal or dangerous activities. Even minor charges may not affect your ability to renew.

However, it’s important to also realize what DACA doesn’t offer. Unfortunately, there is no path to citizenship or permanent residency under DACA. It merely offers temporary relief from being deported. While this will allow you to stay in America — potentially indefinitely — it doesn’t provide the many benefits of American citizenship or legal status. In fact, it doesn’t even change a person’s undocumented status.

This is why it’s so important to understand all your options. The Chicago DACA lawyers at our law firm can review your situation and identify all possible paths to citizenship, legal residency, or deferred status. Contact us today for a Free Case Evaluation

Can DACA Eligible Apply for Citizenship?

While DACA does not provide a direct path to citizenship or legal residency, this does not mean those eligible under the law cannot naturalize or get a green card. Like any other applicant, they must merely meet the requirements for the immigration process they undertake. For instance, DACA recipients who entered the country legally meet the lawful entry requirement of getting a green card and becoming a legal permanent resident. For many, this is the first step toward citizenship.

If you came into the country legally with a valid visa, it may not matter that you currently have unlawful presence. The process is a bit more complex for those who never had legal status in the United States. That’s because these individuals do not meet the lawful entry requirement. However, they may be able to meet this requirement by obtaining Advance Parole travel documents. This allows a person to leave America and then lawfully re-enter the country.

Before you attempt any of this on your own, though, it’s ideal to speak with an immigration and naturalization attorney. A legal professional can help you understand your options and avoid
undue burdens. For instance, those who want to re-enter the country legally could face a 3-10 year waiting period. However, a Chicago DACA attorney may be able to file an unlawful presence waiver on a person’s behalf. Put simply, it’s important to understand all your options. 

Contact Our Chicago DACA Lawyer Today

American immigration law is a complex subject. In fact, it’s so complex that some people already have United States citizenship and don’t realize it. The U.S. government has an instructional guide that focuses specifically on these individuals! Unfortunately, most people aren’t this lucky. If you’re currently in the country illegally, there are very few options available to you. Luckily, an experienced legal professional can help identify the best path to legal or deferred status available to you.

At Gilliam Law, we’ve far too often seen what can happen when there’s uncertainty regarding immigration status. While politicians may seem unable or unwilling to enact real solutions, there are at least existing options that may help in your situation. Our Chicago DACA lawyer will review your case free of charge and help you decide the best path forward. Whether you’re applying for citizenship, seeking a green card, or simply looking for deferred status, we’re here to assist.

Contact us today at (866) 511-3422 to schedule your Free Case Evaluation.

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