DACA Checklist, Tips, and Mailing Instructions

One does NOT need to submit EVERY single document listed below. For a DACA application to be approved, the applicant must submit enough evidence to prove the following requirements: 

  1. Is 15 or older when applying* but under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; 
  2. Came to the US before reaching your 16th birthday; 
  3. Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007; 
  4. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012; 
  5. Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS; 
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, OR are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; AND 
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. 

*There is an exception to the minimum age requirement if you are currently in removal proceedings. If you have ever been in removal proceedings, it’s a good idea to protect yourself by consulting a lawyer.

To prove identity and age (including proof that you were under age of 31 on June 15, 2012), provide ONE of the following:

  • Certified copy of birth certificate (with translation if not in English), OR 
  • Copy of birth certificate (if Certified copy is available), OR 
  • Copy of valid passport, OR 
  • Copy of expired passport (must submit additional form of ID), OR 
  • Copy of valid consular ID card, OR 
  • Copy of expired consular ID card, OR 
  • Copy of valid school ID, OR 
  • Copy of expired school ID, OR 
  • Copy of photo ID documents issued by DHS, OR 
  • Any other official photo ID 

To prove that (1) you arrived in the US before age 16, (2) have continuously resided in the US for the last 13 years (6/15/2007-present), and (3) evidence you were present on 6/15/2012; provide as much evidence as possible which may include the following examples: 

  • Copy of complete school records (cumulative transcripts will be helpful), OR 
  • Copy of medical records (including vaccination records), OR 
  • Copy of financial records (including bank statement/checks; rent, utility or credit card bills), OR 
  • Copy of employment records (including tax returns), OR 
  • Copy of military records, OR 
  • Copy of other records (cell phone records, sports or academic club records, union records, church records: baptism, communion, or confirmation records), OR 
  • Copy of community service documentation, OR 
  • Copy of lawful entry documents (visa, I-94 card border crossing card) OR
  • An affidavit** (***Must submit along with other supporting evidence)From USCIS website: “Affidavits may only be used to explain gaps in your continuous residence; they cannot be used as evidence that you meet the entire continuous residence requirement.”

To prove you are currently in school OR GED program, OR earned a high school OR certificate of completion from high school, OR have a GED, OR have been honorably discharged from the military; provide the following: 

  • Copy of High school diploma or certificate of completion, OR 
  • Copy of GED certificate, OR 
  • Copy of proof of enrollment in GED program or other educational program, OR Copy of report cards, OR 
  • Copy of school transcripts (It’s not necessary to submit sealed transcripts, so long as they are official), OR 
  • Copy of Military records 

If you have left the US since 6/15/2007, provide the following: 

  • Copy of travel documents, AND 
  • Documents justifying or explaining your absences (see USCIS instructions for I821D for justified absences)
    • USCIS has said that an absence or absences since 6/15/2007 may disqualify someone for DACA depending on how long it was and the reason for the absence
  • Copy of the results a Department of Justice background check, OR 
  • Results of an FBI background check, OR 
  • Certified copies of dispositions from each citation or arrest–or proof that no charges were filed
    • DO NOT send these in without first speaking to a trusted legal service provider.

For EAD (work permit application – Form I-765): 

  • Include 2 passport size photographs (white background) 

Other helpful information when filling out DACA: 

  • Know place of initial entrance into the US 
  • Know past address of residence to cover at least 5 consecutive years

Other Important Tips 

  • Write your name and date of birth the same way on each form. Variations may cause delays. 
  • Do NOT e-file form I-765. You must mail your package and forms I-821-D, I-765, I-765 WS, evidence and fees 
  • Do NOT leave blank answers. Answer all questions completely and accurately – if an item is not applicable write in N/A or the answer is “none” write in “none”. 
  • Be sure to complete these required form fields to ensure request is accepted for processing
    • Form I821-D: Name, Address, Date of Birth 
    • Form I-765: Name, Address, Date of Birth, Eligibility Category 
  • Provide all required supporting documentation and evidence. 
  • Organize and label your evidence by the guideline it meets. These documents are required for USCIS to make a decision on your request for DACA. 
  • Do NOT use whiteout or correction tape. If you make an error on a form, start over with a clean form. Scanners will see through white out or correction tape and this could lead to the form being processed as incorrect, and lead to processing delays or denial. 
  • Use black ink if you are filling out the form by hand. 
  • Once you have completed all the forms, make a copy of all the forms for your records. Submit originals of  forms G-1145, I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS. 
  • Carefully review age guidelines before filing 
  • You cannot have been the age of 31 or older as of June 15, 2012, to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). 

***Please remember to contact a trusted immigration attorney or community organization if you need help filling out the DACA application or if you have further questions before submitting your application.***

How do I Submit my DACA Application?

What must be included? You must submit the following: 

  • A SIGNED and completed G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance 
  • A SIGNED and completed I-821D (not 1-821, the form must be I-821D), 
  • A SIGNED and completed I-765, 
  • A completed I-765WS 
  • Two identical color photographs of yourself taken within 30 days of filing your application Check/money order for fee (see below) 
  • All supporting documentation- copies only, retain originals of supporting documentation.

If you do not include Form I-765 with all the applicable fees with Form I-821D, your entire submission will be rejected. If someone helped you to fill out the forms, that person must sign in the designated box. 

What about the fee? 

  • You must send 2 separate checks; one for $85 for the biometrics & the second one for $410 for the work authorization fee (USCIS may reject your entire package if you submit a single, combined payment for multiple forms.) 
  • Checks/money orders must be payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

NOTE: Spell out U.S. Department of Homeland Security; do NOT use the initials “USDHS’ OR “DHS” 

Where should it be mailed? 

Depending on your state of residence, you will mail your application with all required forms and payment to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox Facility. If you are mailing it via US Postal Service, you should mail it via Certified mail with Return Receipt. If you are mailing if via FedEx, request a Return Receipt. 

Find the USCIS Lockbox address here: 

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