Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Information and Resources
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum allowing individuals who came to the U.S. as children and meet certain guidelines to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A person who is granted DACA receives permission to live and work in the U.S. for two years (may be renewed). If someone is approved for DACA, s/he may apply for a social security number and in most states, a driver’s license.
Executive Action Updates
- FAQs about Expanded Eligibility for DACA
- Frequently Asked Questions: DAPA, Expanded DACA, and the Court Injunction
General Information about DACA
- If approved for DACA, receives permission to live and work in the U.S. for two years (may be renewed).
- Eligible to apply for work permit (using U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-765, Application for Work Authorization and USCIS Form I-765WS (Worksheet))
- Eligible to apply for social security number
- In most states, eligible to apply for driver’s license
- A DACA grantee is considered lawfully present in the U.S.
- May apply for permission to travel outside the U.S. for humanitarian, employment, or educational reasons (using USCIS Form I-131, Application for Travel Document) See Travel Abroad for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients (PDF)
- The government has discretion to grant or deny DACA.
- The government has discretion to revoke DACA if the individual engages in activities that no longer makes him/her eligible for DACA.
- DACA is not a path to lawful permanent residence or citizenship.
- DACA does not offer benefits to family members of DACA grantees.
- Under certain circumstances, applying for DACA can lead the government to take enforcement action against an individual. Thus, it is highly recommended that a person seek advice from a licensed attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative prior to submitting an application for DACA.
To be eligible for DACA, an individual must show the following:
- At least 15 years old at time of filing, unless in immigration court proceedings, or has final removal order or voluntary departure;
- Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the U.S. before turning 16;
- Continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 until the present time (An applicant who has brief, casual, and innocent absences from the U.S. may still be able to show that s/he “continuously resided” in the U.S. However, the applicant cannot have any unauthorizes absences after August 15, 2012)
- On June 15, 2012, was physically present in the U.S.;
- At the time of the DACA request, is physically present in the U.S.;
- Entered without inspection by immigration authorities prior to June 15, 2012 or has expired lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012;
- Currently in school (includes English as a Second Language courses, career training programs, General Education Development (GED) courses, etc.); or
- Graduated or obtained certificate of completion from high school; or
- Obtained general education development (GED) certificate; or
- Honorably discharged veteran of Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.;
- Not convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and is not a threat to national security or public safety.
Resources for Legal Service Providers
- USCIS DACA FAQs (updated October 23, 2014)
- Applying for a Social Security Number after obtaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Secretary Napolitano DACA Memo, June 15, 2012
- Revised Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Removable Aliens
- Press Release, EOIR, EOIR Statement Regarding Prosecutorial Discretion (November 17, 2011)
- Update on DACA (October 2014)
- USCIS Releases Second Revised Form I-821D and Outlines DACA Renewal Process (June 2014)
- USCIS Releases “ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance” (February 2014)
- CLINIC’s Comments in Response to Changes in Form I-821D (February 14, 2014)
- Updates on DACA (January 31, 2014)
- Life After DACA FAQ (January 28, 2014)
- Advance Parole for DACA Recipients Practice Advisory (August 28, 2013)
- USCIS Releases New DACA Application Form and Instructions (August 2013)
- Common Questions on DACA (August 27, 2013)
- DACA Update: New FAQs from USCIS (January 2013)
- DACA & Comprehensive Immigration Reform (for legal service providers)
- CLINIC DACA Update: New FAQs from USCIS, January 2013
Back to School DACA Flyer for Educators (January 2015)
Advanced Parole Flyer (Amharic Version) (July 2014)
DACA and Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Amharic Version) (December 2013)
DACA Overview Flyer (July 2014)
DACA Renewal FAQs (July 2014)
Preparing for Renewal YouTube Broadcast (English) - July 1, 2014
Preparate para Renovar tu DACA (Spanish) - July 1, 2014
DACA & Comprehensive Immigration Reform (for applicants) - December, 2013
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-821D (DACA Application)
- USCIS Form I-765 (Work Authorization Application)
- USCIS Form I-765WS (Work Authorization Worksheet)
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Are You Eligible? How Can You Get Ready To Apply?
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Are You Eligible? How Can You Get Ready To Apply? (Spanish)
- Preparing for my Deferred Action Application (Click here for the document in Spanish)
- Self Screening Form
The DHS National Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) prepared by Service Center Operations Directorate Version 2.0 (dated April 4, 2013) is available below. The American Immigration Council and the National Immigration Law Center obtained this document after submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request. We thank AIC and NILC for sharing this with CLINIC.
- National Standard Operating Procedures Manual for DACA Version 2.0 (PDF) (dated April 4, 2013)
The DHS National Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual for DACA prepared by Service Center Operations Directorate Version 1.0 (dated September 13, 2012) is available below. The Center for Immigrants’ Rights of Penn State University received the document in response to a FOIA request. We thank Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Esq. and her students for sharing these documents with CLINIC.
- National Standard Operating Procedures Manual for DACA Version 1.0 (PDF) (dated September 13, 2012)
- Volunteer Training Part 1 - DACA Overview and the Eligibility Guidelines (VIDEO)
- Volunteer Training Part 2 - How to Complete the Application Forms (VIDEO)
- Volunteer Training Part 3 - Overview of the DACA Workshop Model (VIDEO)
- DACA and Advance Parole Webinar (May 20, 2014)
- Travel Abroad for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients (August 22, 2013)
- DACA - One Year Later (August 22, 2013)
- The Implementation of DACA in the States and Lessons Learned for Legalization (June 26, 2013)
- DACA Updates Webinar (February 6, 2013)
- DACA Evaluation: Beyond the Numbers (January 23, 2013)
- Pod Cast: Preparing Your Organization for Deferred Action
- Catholic Charities USA Webinar: Information Session on the New DREAMers Immigration Policy (August 8,2012)
- Webinar: Update on Deferred Action for DREAMers (August 6, 2012)
- Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and with Respect to Certain Individuals Whose Parents are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents (DHS Memo, November 20, 2014)
- Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report: DACA FAQS, September 30, 2014
- DHS Press Release, June 15, 2012
- ICE DACA Memo, June 15, 2012
- Office of Special Counsel Technical Assistance Letter, September 10, 2012
These following four documents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection were obtained by the American Immigration Lawyers Association in response to a FOIA request. We thank AILA for sharing these documents with CLINIC.