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5 Steps to applying for DACA for the first time!

This resource is for immigrant youth looking to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for the first time. If you are looking to renew your DACA, check out our DACA Renewal Guide. Let’s get started:

First things first, consult a legal service provider!

We recommend first verifying with your attorney or accredited representative (at a nonprofit organization that helps people with immigration matters) that you are eligible for DACA; this is especially important if you have been in contact with law enforcement in the past. Once you’ve confirmed you are eligible to apply for DACA, begin gathering your application materials. List of acceptable documentation to prove eligibility:
https://unitedwedream.org/resources/your-daca-renewal-checklist-for-2020/

Make sure to review the official USCIS instruction materials for additional information at the USCIS website.

Gather the most up-to-date forms.

You will need to fill out the following forms. Make sure the forms are up to date by checking their expiration dates on the top right hand corner of each form because USCIS will reject applications that use outdated forms.

DO NOT send original documents to USCIS, only copies. 

Make sure your application is filled out correctly and reviewed by your attorney or accredited representative, before submitting.

When you’re ready to mail it out…

  • Before mailing, make and keep a copy of the entire application. 
  • Do not staple the forms or docs (paper clips are preferred). 
  • The location of the USCIS facility you need to send your application to is based on where you reside. Please use the USCIS reference guide to find the correct location. 
  • We recommend that you select a delivery option that allows you to track your package.

To Pay the Application Fee

The application fee for DACA is $495. USCIS accepts money orders, cashier’s checks,  personal checks, and credit card (if accompanied by form G-1450). 

Money orders and cashier’s checks are recommended and can be obtained at your bank or stores like Walmart or 7-11. 

All forms of payment must be made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” Do not abbreviate. 

Fee exemptions are available, but have strict requirements. If you need financial help:

What’s next?

If you filled out Form G-1145 you should receive a one-time e-Notification when your application has been received by USCIS. You will soon get a receipt from USCIS and continue the process, but for now, you are done!

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