Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Deferred action means that, even though the individual is undocumented and subject to deportation, the government agrees to “defer” any actions to remove them. For those who are granted DACA, they receive a two year deferral of deportation, and are able to apply for work authorization, a social security number, and in most states, a driver's license. In essence, even though deferred action does not provide a pathway to getting lawful permanent resident status (a greencard) or citizenship, it allows undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the U.S.

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of the DACA program, which will be implemented in the next 90 days. Previously, to be eligible for DACA, a person must have been born after June 15, 1981 and have lived in the United States since June 15, 2007. Under the new expansion, more people can qualify. Although applicants must have arrived in the United States before they were sixteen years old, there is no upper age cap. In addition, the new residency requirement is to have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010. Finally, DACA will be valid for three years, instead of two. Until these changes take effect, those eligible for the original version of the DACA program can continue to apply for DACA or renew their applications.

Documents

Registering and Enlisting in the United States Military for Immigrants - FAQs

This new resource answers some common questions about the U.S. Military for immigrants.  It explains which immigrants must register with the Selective Service, which are eligible to enlist in the U.S. Military, and specifically addresses the requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

DACA Annotated Form

USCIS Form I-821D with annotations.

DACA Form Instructions

These are step-by-step instructions on how to complete the form.

Background Check Advisory (English & Spanish)

This document outlines how to check if you have a criminal record and complete a background check. Available in English and Spanish.

Document Checklist

This is a checklist to help you gather all necessary documentation to apply for DACA.

DACA Application Sample Cover Letter

This is a sample cover letter that can be used when submitting a DACA application.This is a sample cover letter that can be used when submitting a DACA application.

Screening Form for DACA Applicants

This form screens for DACA eligibility and other immigration relief.  It can be used by non-immigration attorney volunteers because it highlights the areas that need to be referred to an experienced immigration attorney or BIA-accredited representative.

Immigration Options for Undocumented Immigrant Children

A collection of resources and fact sheets on SIJS, VAWA, U visa, T visa, Asylum, Family visas, TPS and DACA.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Fact Sheet

Deferred Action is a form of prosecutorial discretion that provides a work permit and relief from removal for two years to certain eligible undocumented youth. This fact sheet outlines the benefits of DACA, who is eligible and the requirements.

What Documents Will I Need to Apply for DACA?

This resource describes all of the documents that will help in proving the requirements and where to obtain them. Special thanks to our Spring 2013 law students, Andrew Briggs and Maria  Dominguez, for their efforts in helping create this resource.

Registering and Enlisting in the United States Military for Immigrants - FAQs

This new resource answers some common questions about the U.S. Military for immigrants.  It explains which immigrants must register with the Selective Service, which are eligible to enlist in the U.S. Military, and specifically addresses the requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

DACA and Juvenile Delinquency Adjudications & Records: FAQs

In this practice advisory we answer common questions on how to tackle disclosure of juvenile adjudications and dissemination of court records for individuals interested in applying for DACA.  Also included are three sample DACA request packets, which show how to carefully disclose juvenile adjudications and comply with state confidentiality laws.

Preparing for Possible Immigration Reform

A final immigration reform plan has not yet been approved and could take many months. If Congress approves a new plan, these are documents that you can start collecting now. Special thanks to our Spring 2013 law students, Andrew Briggs and Maria Dominguez, for their efforts in helping to create this resource.

How Will DACA Help Me?

Outlines all of the benefits that come with obtaining DACA approval. Special thanks to our Spring 2013 law students, Andrew Briggs and Maria  Dominguez, for their efforts in helping to create this resource.

DACA Educational Requirements

Answers to some frequently asked questions about the educational requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligibility.

November 19, 2012 USCIS Stakeholder Meeting Notes

Questions and answers and processing updates and guidance from USCIS on DACA requests.

Comparing DACA, California Dream Act, AB 540 and DREAM Act

A chart comparing the current status, requirements, application, benefits, bars, risks and other aspects of DACA, the California Dream Act, AB 540 and the DREAM Act.

DACA Criminal Bars Chart

This one-page chart provides a brief overview of how a criminal history can affect an individual’s application for Deferred Action. The chart is intended as a general reference and corresponds with the longer DACA Criminal Bar FAQ.

Understanding the Criminal Bars to the Deferred Action Policy

In addition to a number of other requirements, to qualify for deferred action a person must not be convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors, and not pose a threat to public safety or national security.

Deferred Action Summary

Deferred action provides for temporary protection from deportation and work authorization for individuals who meet criteria similar to the pending DREAM Act.