Paper with DACA written on it over American flag.

DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a program that allows undocumented minors who arrived in the United States to remain in the United States. The program was established in 2012 by President Obama. Immigration attorneys work with DACA recipients to help individuals who qualify obtain green cards (permanent resident) if that is their desire.

Obtaining a Green Card as a DREAMer

A green card or Permanent Resident Card allows you to remain and work in the United States permanently. If you currently have DACA status, you might be able to obtain your green card if you meet certain eligibility requirements. However, there is not a direct path through DACA for you to obtain permanent residency. 

DACA does not bar you from receiving a green card, but you would need to apply for permanent residence in the United States through the same process as other immigrants. With the uncertainty surrounding DACA status, many DREAMers are searching for other paths to legal status, such as obtaining a green card.

DACA to Green Card by Marriage

One way to obtain a green card with DACA status is to marry a United States citizen. However, this process has become much more complicated now that the Trump Administration ended advanced parole. 

Advanced parole allowed a DACA recipient to obtain permission to leave and re-enter the country so that he or she could get married, adjust status, and obtain a green card. This option is no longer available for DREAMers who entered the country illegally. Now you must apply for a waiver of your unlawful presence while you remain in the country. If approved, you are required to return to your country of origin and attend an interview at the consulate. There is a chance that you could be denied re-entry even with an approved waiver. 

Before leaving the country, it is crucial that you consult with an immigration lawyer. The facts and circumstances that are unique to your situation dictate whether a green card by marriage would work for you. Even though you might have DACA status, you must still meet all other requirements for a green card by marriage. Furthermore, the details of your situation could also make it more difficult to return to the U.S. if you were to leave. In some cases, a person could face a 3 to 10-year bar on re-entry. Others could face a permanent bar on re-entry to the United States.

DACA Green Cards – Immigration Attorneys Can Help

The process of obtaining a green card as a DACA recipient has become much harder under the current Administration. Immigration attorneys work diligently to assist individuals in applying for and obtaining their green cards. 

There may be better ways for you to obtain a green card than marrying a U.S. citizen, such as sponsorship for a green card by an immediate relative that is a United States citizen. Before you take any steps, it is wise to consult experienced immigration attorneys to review all available options for obtaining a green card. Schedule a consult today with one of our experienced immigration attorneys for assistance.

Posted in: Immigration