What documents should I submit for an initial DACA application?

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If you've decided to submit your first DACA application by yourself, it can be a major undertaking. Several documents are required to prove your eligibility for the program. In most cases, the following items need to be submitted with Form I-821D to prove your eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:

Filing Fee

Submit $495 payment for your USCIS fees with this application. (The total payment includes a $410 I-765 filing fee and $85 biometric fee. There is no filing fee for Form I-821D.) The check or money order must be drawn on a bank or other financial institution located in the United States and must be payable in U.S. currency. Make the check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Photos

Two identical passport-style color photographs of yourself taken within 30 days of filing this application. The photos should:

  • Be 2” x 2” in size
  • Have head height of 1” to 1 3/8” from top of hair to bottom of chin
  • Have eye height between 1 1/8” to 1 3/8” from bottom of photo
  • Have bare head unless you are wearing a headdress as required by a religious order of which you are a member (face must be visible)
  • Have a white to off-white background
  • Be printed on thin paper with a glossy finish
  • Not be mounted or retouched
  • Have your name and Alien Registration Number (A-Number) written lightly in pencil on the back of each photo. If you do not have an A-Number, write your birthday.

Proof of Identity

You will need to provide evidence that proves your identity. Examples of acceptable documents include:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate accompanied by photo identification
  • Any national identity document from your country of origin bearing your photo and/or fingerprint
  • Any U.S.-government immigration or other document bearing your name and photograph (such as an expired visa, driver’s license or state identification card)
  • Any school-issued form of identification with photo
  • Military identification document with photo
  • State-issued photo ID showing date of birth
  • Any other document with photo that you believe is relevant

Note: Expired documents are acceptable.

 

Proof of Entry Before Age 16

You will need to provide evidence that proves you came to the United States before your 16th birthday. Examples of acceptable documents include:

  • Passport with an admission stamp indicating when you entered the United States
  • I-94/I-95/I-94W Arrival-Departure Record
  • Any Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or DHS document stating your date of entry (such as Form I-862, Notice to Appear)
  • Travel records, such as transportation tickets showing your dates of travel to the United States
  • School records (transcripts, report cards, etc.) from the schools that you have attended in the United States, showing the name(s) of the schools and periods of school attendance
  • Hospital or medical records concerning treatment or hospitalization, showing the name of the medical facility or physician and the date(s) of the treatment or hospitalization
  • Official records from a religious entity in the United States confirming your participation in a religious ceremony, rite, or passage (such as baptism, firm communion, wedding)
  • Any other document you believe is relevant

 

Proof of Continuous Residence Since 6/15/2007

You will need to provide evidence that you continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present date. Examples of acceptable documents include:

  • Rent receipts, utility bills (gas, electric, phone, etc.), receipts from companies showing the dates during which you received service

Note: You may submit this documentation even if it only has the name of your parents or legal guardians, as long as you also submit other evidence (e.g. third party documentation) that connects you to your residence at that address.

  • Employment records (such as pay stubs, W-2 Forms, certification of the filing of Federal income tax returns, State verification of the filing of state income tax returns, letters from employer(s), or if you are self-employed, letters from banks and other firms with whom you have done business

Note: In all of these documents, your name and the name of the employer or other interested organizations must appear on the form or letter, as well as relevant dates. Letters must include: your address(es) at the time of employment, exact period(s) of employment, period(s) of layoff, and duties with the employer. Letters must also be signed by the employer and include the employer’s contact information.

  • School records (transcripts, report cards, etc.) from the schools that you have attended in the United States, showing the name(s) of the schools and periods of school attendance
  • Military records (such as Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty; NGB Form 22, National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service; military personnel records; or military health records)
  • Hospital or medical records concerning treatment or hospitalization, showing the name of the medical facility or physician and the date(s) of the treatment or hospitalization.
  • Official records from a religious entity in the United States confirming your participation in a religious ceremony, rite, or passage (such as baptism, first communion or wedding)
  • Money order receipts for money sent in or out of the country; passport entries; birth certificates of children born in the United States; dated bank transactions; correspondence between you and another person or organization; automobile license receipts, title, vehicle registration, etc; deeds, mortgages, rental agreements, contacts to which you have been a party; tax receipts; insurance policies; receipts; postmarked letters
  • Any other relevant document

 

Proof of Residence on 6/15/2012

You will need to provide evidence that demonstrates that you were present in the United States on June 15, 2012. This is basically the same requirement as the continuous residence requirement above. (You can use the same documents.) However, this requirement must cover the date of June 15, 2012, the day that President Obama announced the DACA program. The list of acceptable documents is the same 

 

Proof of Entry

If you entered the country legally but your status expired (such as visa expired, parole expired), you will also need to provide evidence that demonstrates that you had no lawful status on June 15, 2012. Examples of acceptable documents include:

  • I-94/I-95/I-94W Arrival-Departure Record showing the date your authorized stay expired
  • If you have a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued as of June 15, 2012, submit a copy of that order and related charging documents, if available
  • An INS OR DHS charging document placing you into removal proceedings, if available
  • Any other document that you believe is relevant to show that on June 15, 2012, you were present in the U.S. with no lawful status

Note: If you entered the country without inspection and never had lawful status, this requirement does not apply to you.

 

Travel Abroad

If you have ever traveled outside the United States since June 15, 2007, you are required to prove that the trip was a "brief, casual, and innocent absence." A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence requirement. If you were absent from the U.S. for any period of time, your absence will considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was between June 15, 2007, and August 15, 2012, and:

  • The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence
  • The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal
  • The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings and
  • The purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside of the U.S. were not contrary to law.

Examples of acceptable documents that demonstrate your absence was brief, casual, and innocent include:

  • Plane or other transportation tickets or itinerary showing the travel dates
  • Passport entries
  • Hotel receipts showing the dates you were abroad
  • Evidence of the purpose of the travel (such as attending a wedding or funeral)
  • Copy of advance parole document
  • Any other evidence that could support a brief, casual, and innocent absence

 

Proof of Education/Military Service 

There is also a requirement that you are currently enrolled in school or have graduated or have obtained a GED certificate. If you are currently enrolled, examples of acceptable documents include: school registration cards, acceptance or other letters demonstrating enrollment or attendance, current transcripts, report cards, progress reports, or other documents issued by a school district, state education agency, school or program. These documents should show your name, the name of the school district, educational agency, school or program issuing the record, the date(s) or time period(s) of enrollment you are seeking to establish and your current educational or grade level.

  • If you have been accepted for enrollment and your classes have not yet begun, you may submit an acceptance letter with evidence that you have registered for classes or any other relevant evidence showing you have committed to starting classes on a certain date, including, for example, a copy of your tuition bill, your class schedule, or your Individualized Educational Program (IEP).
  • If you are enrolled in an educational, literacy or career training program (including vocational training or an ESL course), evidence that the program is funded in whole or in part by federal, state, local or municipal funds includes a letter or other documentation from an authorized representative of the program that includes information such as: your name and date of enrollment, the duration of the program and expected completion date, the program’s source of public funding, and the program’s authorized representative’s contact information.
  • If you enrolled in an education, literacy or career training program that is not publicly funded, evidence that the program is of demonstrated effectiveness may include information from an authorized school representative relating to: the duration of the program’s existence, the program’s track record in placing students in employment, job training, or post-secondary education, receipt of awards or special achievement or recognition that indicate the program’s overall quality, and/or any other information indicating the program’s overall quality.

If you have already graduated, examples of acceptable documents include:

  • A high school diploma from a public or private high school or secondary school.
  • A recognized equivalent of a high school diploma under state law, including a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, a certificate of completion, or a certificate of attendance.
  • A transcript that identifies the date of graduation or program completion.
  • An enrollment history that shows the date of graduation or program completion.
  • A degree from a public or private college or university or community college.
  • An alternate award from a public or private high school or secondary school.

Note: These documents should show your name, the name of the school district, educational agency, school, or program issuing the record, the date(s) or time period(s) of enrollment you are seeking to establish, and your date of graduation or completion.

 

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