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Life After DACA - FAQ

GENERAL

 

1. Can DACA recipients travel abroad? 

Yes, but only if they receive permission from the government. 

DACA recipients may apply for advance parole, which gives a person in the United States advance permission to reenter the country after traveling abroad. In order to receive advance parole, a DACA recipient generally must show that he or she is traveling abroad for humanitarian, employment, or educational purposes. Advance parole does not guarantee that an individual will be allowed to reenter the United States.  Immigration officials have the authority to deny parole at a port of entry in certain circumstances.  In general, however, persons granted advance parole do not have problems reentering the U.S.  Talk to an immigration attorney or BIA accredited representative to find out if you should travel abroad

For more information see Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC’s) free webinar, Travel Abroad for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients , available on the DACA resources page at www.cliniclegal.org. You may also wish to consult CLINIC’s and American Immigration Council (AIC’s) practice advisory, Advance Parole for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Recipients.

 

2. Can a DACA recipient renew deferred action?

Yes, DACA recipients may apply to renew their deferred action.  USCIS has not yet released instructions on applying for renewal.  This FAQ will be updated when the process for renewing DACA is announced.  Keep track of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expiration date and check with your legal services provider, the We Own the Dream  website, or the USCIS  website for updated renewal information.  

 

3. How do I replace a lost or stolen Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?

Currently U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not issue replacement EADs to DACA recipients at reduced fees.   To apply for a replacement EAD, you must send a new form I-765 to USCIS.  Include a copy of your previous EAD approval notice, DACA

approval notice, two passport sized photos, and a check or money order for $465 payable to the Department of Homeland Security.  

 

4. How do I apply for a social security number?

 After you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) you may apply for a social security number. To apply for a social security number, you must visit a Social Security office to complete and sign an application in person.  Bring your EAD and one document proving your age and identity.  Proof of identity documents must be the original or a certified copy.  Examples include passports, birth certificates and school I.D. cards.  You should get your Social Security Card in the mail within 1 to 4 weeks after submitting your application.  Instructions for applying for a social security number are available on the Social Security Administration’s website  at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/deferred_action.pdf. 

 

5. Can my DACA status be terminated or revoked?

 Yes.  Your DACA grant, which allows you to stay in the U.S. lawfully for two years, can be revoked.  For example, if you are convicted of a crime that would disqualify you from DACA, including crimes related to violence, drugs, sexual abuse, burglary, possession or use of a firearm, driving under the influence, or gangs, you could lose your deferred action and be placed in removal proceedings.  

 If you are arrested after receiving DACA, consult with an immigration attorney or BIA accredited representative. Find legal help at http://www.weownthedream.org/legalhelp/.

 

EMPLOYMENT

6. I am working under a social security number (SSN) that is not my own.  Should I tell my employer I now have a new SSN?

While there are ways to give your employer your updated SSN information, your employer may fire you if he or she finds out that you were working under a false SSN.  Many employers have honesty policies that require them to fire someone who has given them false information in order to work. 

One option for correcting your SSN is to ask to update your Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate).  The W-4 helps the government track how much tax to withhold from your paycheck, how long you have been working, and how much you have contributed to the Social Security Fund.   Your employer should let you update this every year.  

You could also update your Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification.  Employers are required to complete the Form I-9 to verify a new employee’s identity and legal authorization to work in the U.S.  The new employee must provide an accepted document or documents to show their identity and eligibility to work.  If you presented false information and documents

at the time you were hired, updating your I-9 or W-4 may lead to your employer finding out that you were working under a false SSN, and possibly firing you.  You should think carefully about whether to disclose your new SSN.   

More information about DACA and work place issues can be found on the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) website at http://www.nilc.org/dacaworkplacerights.html.  If you have questions about employment issues you may also contact the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (1-800-255-7688 or www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/).

 

7. I am working for my employer under a false name.  Should I tell my employer my real name now that I have DACA?

If you tell your employer that you have been working under a false name, you may be fired for giving false information.  Many employers have honesty policies that require them to fire someone who has given them false information in order to work.  However, employers must apply their honesty policies without discriminating.  Your employer should not treat you differently, based on your national origin, from the way your employer treated other employees who presented false information.  If it does, your employer may be violating anti-discrimination laws.  

If you are currently working under a false name, you should think carefully about correcting any information that you previously gave to your employer.

More information about DACA and work place issues can be found on the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) website at http://www.nilc.org/dacaworkplacerights.html.  If you have questions about employment issues you may also contact the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (1-800-255-7688 or www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/).

 

TAXES

8. Do I need to pay taxes?  How do I transfer my ITIN history to my new SSN?

The tax laws that apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents also apply to DACA recipients.  If you are working and earning a certain amount of money you are required to pay taxes.  You may already have an individual tax identification number (ITIN), which is a tax processing number that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gives to individuals who are not eligible for a social security number (SSN). 

You cannot have an ITIN and SSN at the same time, so you should rescind your ITIN once you get a new SSN.  Send a letter to the IRS ITIN Operation requesting that your ITIN be rescinded and that all your tax records are linked to your new SSN.  Include your complete name, mailing address, and copies of your ITIN and SSN cards. 

Send your letter to:

Internal Revenue Service

Austin, TX 73301-0057  

Note that the IRS address above has no street address.  For more information on how to rescind an ITIN, see the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Additional-ITIN-Information.

 

DRIVER’S LICENSES AND PUBLIC BENEFITS

9. How do I get a driver’s license?

States have different policies about who is eligible for a driver’s license. Procedures for applying are also different, depending on the state you live in.  In all states except Arizona and Nebraska, DACA recipients with work authorization and a Social Security number can get a driver’s license as long as they meet the state’s other eligibility requirements.  In most states, driver’s license applicants are required to have a social security number, evidence of lawful or authorized presence in the United States, proof of identity and date of birth, and proof of residence in the state.  

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has more information about DACA and drivers licenses  at http://www.nilc.org/dacadriverslicenses.html. 

 

10. How do I answer questions about my immigration status when applying for benefits?

Deferred action is not a formal immigration status, but while you are granted deferred action you are considered lawfully present in the United States.  When filling out forms it is important to be honest.  You should not claim to be a U.S. citizen.  Doing so could lead to future immigration problems and in some cases, criminal prosecution. Similarly, you should not claim to be a lawful permanent resident. DACA recipients are not lawful permanent residents.  

When filling out an application or a form you can describe your status as “Deferred Action.”  If you have further questions about describing your status on an application or a form, contact a legal service provider near you. To locate one, go to http://www.weownthedream.org/legalhelp/.

 

11. Now that I have DACA, what public benefits do I qualify for?

Your access to public benefits depends on your state’s policies.  DACA recipients are not eligible for federal benefits.  Some states offer medical coverage to certain lawfully present immigrants who are ineligible for federal health coverage.  Others provide prenatal care regardless of woman’s immigration status, and a few states and counties provide health coverage to children regardless of their status.

DACA grantees are not covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” and cannot buy health insurance through the health insurance marketplace or health insurance

exchange.  You may qualify for insurance through an employer or buy full price insurance outside the marketplace if it is available.

National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has several resources explaining health care options to DACA grantees available at http://www.nilc.org/acadacafaq.html .  See also tables on benefits available to immigrants in particular states at http://www.nilc.org/guideupdate.html.

 

EDUCATION

12. Am I eligible for financial aid, in-state tuition, or scholarships?

Federal Financial Aid

DACA recipients cannot receive federal financial aid, including grants and scholarships that are federally funded.  In some states you may qualify for in-state tuition or state financial aid.  There are also private scholarships that may be available to you.

In-State Tuition and State Financial Aid

Some state policies grant in state tuition and/or state financial aid to students regardless of their immigration status, as long as they attended high school in the state for a particular period of time and meet certain other criteria.  Some states and schools allow in state tuition to lawfully present students who have lived in the state for a certain number of months.  Check to see what options are available in your state and at the school you attend.  For more information on access to education in different states, see National Immigration Law Center (NILC’s) “State Bills on Access to Education for Immigrants – 2013.”  

Private Loans and Scholarships

Private loans and scholarship may be available to you.  For a list of private scholarships that do not require proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency, visit the website for Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) .

 

MILITARY

13. Do I need to register for the draft?

It depends. If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26, you must register for the draft.  To register, go to www.sss.gov and click “register online.” If you are not a male between the ages of 18 and 26, you do not have to register.

Undocumented immigrant males between the ages of 18 and 26 who do not have DACA also are required to register for the draft.   

 

14. Can I enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard?

No. DACA recipients are not eligible to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Coast Guard.

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