If you came to the U.S. as a child but didn’t have legal residency status, you could get temporary deportation relief through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA doesn’t grant undocumented immigrants legal status; however, it allows them to live, go to school, and work in the United States for up to two years without being expelled.
You can request deferred action by filing Form I-821D with the United States government and paying the associated fees. This same form also serves as the renewal application. You will need to re-file and pay the costs every two years to maintain your deportation protection unless you’ve obtained a permanent residency solution like a Green Card or Naturalization.
Who Is Eligible for Deferred Action?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes I-821D applications for deferred action as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You’re eligible to request deferred action if you:
- Were younger than 31 years old on June 15, 2012.
- Reached the U.S. before turning 16.
- Are at least 15 years old (unless you’ve received a removal or departure order or are currently in removal proceedings, then you can be younger than 15.)
- Are not in immigration detention.
- Were in the United States on June 15, 2012, without legal status.
- Have lived here continuously since June 15, 2007.
- Are living in the U.S. when you request deferred action from USCIS.
- Have no felony offense or significant misdemeanor convictions, and you have not been convicted of more than two other misdemeanor offenses.
- Do not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
- Are in school, have graduated from high school, or have gotten your General Education Development (GED) certification.
- Are a veteran (honorably discharged) of the Coast Guard or a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
DACA Filing Process
To take advantage of your DACA eligibility, start by filing the latest versions of the following USCIS forms:
- I-821D — The primary DACA application, formally known as the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
- I-765 — The application for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which permits you to work in the United States.
- I-765 WS — The worksheet that accompanies I-765, where you’ll disclose your income level and expenses so the USCIS can evaluate whether you need employment.
When you send in the required forms, you will also need to remit payment for fees along with additional evidence to prove your eligibility. Further, you must submit all of this paperwork via mail — it cannot be filed online or in person.
Attach verifiable documentation that can prove:
- Your identity — A copy of your birth certificate, passport, or other photo identification such as a school or military I.D. card.
- That you were in the U.S. before turning 16 — Travel records, rental or mortgage contracts, dated bank transactions, medical records, or any other official document with a relevant date.
- Your immigration status — Removal or deportation paperwork or other immigration forms showing an authorized stay expiration date.
- You have lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 — Utility bills, rent receipts, employment records, school records, medical records, or any other official dated paperwork.
- Your student status — GED certificate, high school diploma, or official transcripts or report cards.
- Your military status — Military health records, military personnel records, and any other official military records.
After receiving your paperwork, the USCIS may contact you with an appointment date for biometric services. Biometric background checks help them to determine that you are who you say you are. Your identity will be evaluated using photos, fingerprinting, and signature matching.
Your biometrics appointment will take place at a USCIS Application Support Center. If you do not attend the appointment as scheduled, your deferred application will likely be rejected.
How Can FileRight Help with Deferred Action Requests?
Like other immigration laws, deferred action is often surrounded by confusion and trepidation — especially if English is not your first language. Applicants have to satisfy a plethora of detailed requirements, from knowing exactly what to send in, where to mail it, and even the pen color you need to use when filling out your paperwork. Any mistakes can leave your application vulnerable to denial.
Fortunately, you have FileRight on your side. We’ll guide you step-by-step through each application topic, answer your questions, and make sure that you understand. Other key benefits of the FileRight DACA application package include:
- Automated Software — Our powerful software checks your application for potential problems such as inconsistent spellings, illogical dates, and typographical errors.
- Supporting document guidance — We’ll provide detailed instructions on compiling and preparing the most useful supporting documents.
- Package assembly — Your submission packet will be printed, organized, and mailed directly to you. All fields that need your signature will be clearly marked.
- Prepaid envelope — Once you sign your documents, all you need to do is drop the postage-paid envelope in the mail. It will already be addressed to go to the appropriate USCIS field office.
- Bilingual customer service — Our friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives are available to answer your questions and provide guidance in English or Spanish.
Find Out if You Are Eligible for Deferred Action
Deportation relief through deferred action is available to qualified immigrants, and renewals can be submitted every two years. To find out if you can apply for DACA, take the no obligation FileRight deferred action eligibility quiz.
If you are not satisfied with the services you receive from FileRight or your DACA application is denied, we will refund all of your associated costs — including government fees. Reach out to FileRight and get started today, risk-free!