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Facing expiration of DACA? There are options

Posted by Christopher Keen | Sep 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

As we alluded to in our article, The End of DACA - What Now? , there are definitely options to look at if you have DACA, and you are facing expiration with no legal fix yet for the Dreamers.  Today I'd like to discuss a few options for those who obtained DACA before they turned 18.  If they were granted DACA before age 18, then they have garnered NO unlawful presence, and have options to move to a new visa.  

TN Visa

The TN or NAFTA visa is available for Canadians and Mexicans.  I have discussed it more thoroughly in this article. Here, I'm addressing the TN Visa in the context of those who may hold DACA.  For those who have graduated from college in certain fields, and have a job offer, they may qualify for a TN Visa.  Some of the most common degrees and jobs that qualify are accountant, computer systems analyst, social worker, graphic designer, and mathematicians.  A complete list can be found here.  If you have a degree in this field, and can find an employer, this visa can be a way to remain in status and work in the United States.  Of course, the visa may have some drawbacks as there is no dual intent allowed, which is beyond the scope of this article.  This means basically that if you wish to change this visa to another permanent visa you may have problems.  But generally it is a good way for many with a 4 year degree to remain and work legally in the United States.

F-1 Student Visa

For those DACA holders who are going to school, it is possible to change to a student visa.  This may work for some people who are still going to school.  Of course there are drawbacks, such as being international students, tuitinon may be substantially more than in-state tuition.   However it could be a good way to temporarily finish school while remaining in status.  

EB-3 and EB-2 Visas

For those who have bachelor's degrees and master's degrees, and have an emplloyer willing to petition for them, a green card can be obtained through the EB process.  While this won't help everyone, some may be able to benefit from this process.

H1-B Visas

Others who have at least a four year degree and have a job offer may qualify for the H1-B Visa.  See my article for more details on the visa.  In the context of DACA holders who are still in status, this visa may be of use.  There are obvious problems with the cap every April when the number of visas requested outpace the number of available visas, but some may work for public universities which have an exemption to the cap.  There are other ways the visa may benefit some applicants as well.

Family-based Visas

Of course family based visas are a logical alternative.  For those who have entered legally, even if they have not maintained their status, if they are married to a US Citizen they may be eligible to adjust their status in the United States.  Others may have an old petition filed by a parent that is now current.  Individuals in this situation need to leave no stone unturned in their search for an alternative.  


In this article we have only discussed a few possible options.  For those who have been delaying taking action, the time is now.  Come in and talk to one of our attorneys at Keen Law Offices and we can assess your case and help you understand your options.  

About the Author

Christopher Keen

As the founding attorney for Keen Law Offices, LLC, J. Christopher Keen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Brigham Young University. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Since that time, he has been admitted to practice before all of the state courts in Utah.


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