Obtaining a Green Card From Deferred Action

permanent resident card

Here is a basic outline and eligibility for turning your Deferred Action status into Lawful Permanent Residence–or a Green Card!

There are two types of people who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals–also known as DACA:

  1. Those who entered the United States as children with a visa and simply overstayed; and
  2. Those who entered the United States as children without inspection and remained.

The way the law treats these two different groups determines which process you must follow to obtain your green card.

If a person entered the United States with most visas or inspection by a Customs and Border Patrol Agent and:

  • Marries a United States Citizen; or
  • Has a United States Citizen child over 21 years old,

that person’s U.S. Citizen family member can petition to adjust their status as an immediate relative to obtain a green card without ever leaving the country.

However, the majority of DACA beneficiaries fall into the second category. They entered the United States without inspection by simply crossing the border.

Generally, people in this situation are ineligible to adjust their status in the United States without first being inspected an admitted by Customs and Border Protection. Luckily, there are still options available.

First, to circumvent the “inspected and admitted” requirement, DACA beneficiaries can apply for Advance Parole. Advance Parole allows the beneficiary to travel outside of the United States and return for a few different reasons:

  • urgent humanitarian purposes, which include medical assistance, to attend a family member’s funeral, visiting a sick relative, or some other urgent family-related matter;
  • educational purposes, including taking part in a study abroad program or doing academic research; or
  • employment purposes, including overseas assignments or client meetings, interviews, conferences, training, and travel needed to pursue a job with a foreign employer in the United States.

Once you return on your Advance Parole, congratulations, you are now considered “inspected and admitted”! Your immediate relative can now petition to adjust your status to Lawful Permanent Residency.

If you would like more information regarding this process you can contact us through our website or by calling (801) 609-3659.