You are here

Head’s up — MassLegalHelp is getting a new look!

At the beginning of March, we will be relaunching this website with a brand-new look. You may notice some things moved around, but our main content will stay the same. We hope the improved design will make it easier to find what you are looking for.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Produced by Children's Law Center of Massachusetts and Central West Justice Center
Reviewed July 2022


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

DACA 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. for a two year period.

Some people call DACA the Dream Act. The Dream Act is not a law, but only a proposed law. 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 for a period of two years, and will allow you to work for two years.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed July 2022

Important Facts about DACA

On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Sessions announced the end of the DACA program. However, several lawsuits have changed the DACA program and the September announcement. 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.

2. Immigration is not accepting new DACA applications.

Immigration stopped accepting new applications for DACA on September 5, 2017. You cannot apply for DACA if you have never had DACA status before.

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 United We Dream article Paying for your DACA renewal and their information about DACA Lending Circles.
  • Attend a Community DACA workshop, 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 US.

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

For more information:

Get Legal Help

Before you talk to USCIS always speak with an Immigration Specialist.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm