Deferred Action for Parents (DAPA)

President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents Program (DAPA)

NOVEMBER 26, 2014 | Versión en español

On November 20, 2014, the president announced a new program now called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) that will allow certain parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for temporary protection from deportation as well as work permits.[*]

Here’s what we know:

  • To be eligible for DAPA:
    • You must have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, been present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014, and be present in the U.S. when you apply for DAPA.
    • You must have a son or daughter who was a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident as of November 20, 2014. Your child may be of any age, and either married or unmarried.
    • You must not have had a lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014.
    • You must pass a background check. Certain convictions, such as felonies or some misdemeanors, could disqualify you. NILC will provide more analysis as additional information becomes available.
  • People granted DAPA will receive protection from deportation and work permits for a period of three years. They will be able to apply to renew their DAPA at the end of the three-year period. We anticipate that people granted DAPA will also be able to apply for permission to travel abroad.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Even if you are eligible, you cannot apply yet! The government expects that it will start accepting applications for this program within six months of the day it was announced.
  • If you believe you are eligible, begin preparing now by:
    • Gathering documents that prove that you (1) were in the U.S. on November 20, 2014; (2)have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010; and (3) have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter. Visit for examples of documents to gather.
    • Saving for the $465 application fee.
  • If you know someone who is in immigration detention who may be eligible for DAPA, tell them to talk to their case officer or call the ICE Information Line at 888-351-4024.
  • Do not take advice about your immigration case from a notary public or an immigration consultant. Contact only a qualified immigration lawyer or an accredited representative for legal advice about your case. If you encounter notario fraud, report it!
  • Stay informed and sign up at to receive updates, information about upcoming webinars, and new materials. To receive these updates by email, subscribe to our Immigration Issues email list.


Shiu-Ming Cheer, 213.674.2833 or [email protected]; or
Kamal Essaheb, 202.621.1030 or [email protected]

[*] The Obama administration originally called this program “Deferred Action for Parental Accountability.”