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Applying for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

You must meet certain requirements to apply for DACA. You should speak with a qualified immigration lawyer or a Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative for legal advice about your case. In general, you are eligible to apply if you:

  • Have come to the U.S. before turning 16
  • Have lived only in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present
  • Were under the age of 31 and undocumented on June 15, 2012
  • Be in school, have finished high school, have your GED, or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the U.S.
  • Have not been convicted of certain crimes
  • Have been in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and when you apply for DACA

What happens when I have DACA?

If your application for DACA is approved, you:

  • Will get DACA and a work permit that are valid for a period of two years. Under the program’s guidelines, you will be able to apply to renew both your DACA and your work permit.
  • Are protected against deportation while you have DACA status.
    • however, the government can take away your DACA status at any time.
  • You can apply for permission to travel outside the United States, called “Advance Parole.”
  • You are eligible for in-state tuition at a college or university.[link to school section]
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How do I apply for DACA?

You must submit the following to the United States Immigration and Service Center (USCIS):

  • Form I-1821D, Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization Document
  • Form I-765WS – Employment Authorization Document economic need supplement form
  • The filing fee of $465 for the DACA application and the Application for Employment Authorization.
  • Evidence that you are eligible to apply. This may include:
    • Proof of your age
    • Proof that you have lived in the United States from June 5, 2007 to the present
    • Proof that you are in school, finished high school, have your GED, or where honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States.

Did the requirements for DACA change?

No, the requirements have not yet changed. On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that the DACA program would change to include individuals who came to the United States before their 16th birthday before January 1, 2010 who meet the other requirements. But  the expanded DACA program is on hold so the program has not yet been expanded. For more information, see [Immigration Updates].

How do I renew my DACA?

You must meet the following requirements to renew your DACA:

  • You were granted DACA in the past.
  • You did not leave the United States after August 15, 2012, without first getting permission called “Advance Parole.”
  • You lived continuously in the United States from the time you submitted your original DACA application up until the present time.
  • You have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, or threaten national security or public safety.

Apply for renewal at the right time. You can find a DACA renewal calculator here.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created May 2016